Thomas Cranmer produced the first Book of Common Prayer (BCP) back in 1549 as an all-in-one resource for congregations. He drew on many existing texts and liturgies.

The BCP was printed two years after the restoration of the monarchy! Charles I had already been beheaded and Oliver Cromwell’s time as Lord Protector was already in the past. The BCP had been revised in 1552, 1559, 1604, and finally in 1662.

Its first hundred years proved to be a very stormy time for the Prayer Book. Its original author, Thomas Cranmer, was burned at the stake by Queen Mary. Oliver Cromwell disapproved of it. The Puritan element in Britain wanted to see it done away with root and branch.

The Scots were so hostile towards it that the Bishop of Brechin once celebrated Holy Communion from the Prayer Book while pointing a pistol at the heads of his congregation! Happily the 9am don’t usually need that kind of persuasion.

We love its wonderful words and phrases, its profound Biblical theology and its strong call to personal holiness.

The language is of course archaic. 1662 was a long time ago. The vicar says most of the words in the service, congregation does not participate in the liturgy in anything like the way we do when using Common Worship. Nevertheless, there is so much to appreciate in it as we hope you will discover if you join us.