In Just Three Years
Pentecost 1549 to All Saints' 1552.
Henry VIII's Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, is credited with a pivotal role in the English Reformation. As well as playing a leading part, together with Henry's Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell, in securing the separation of the Church in England from the authority of the Roman Church and the Pope enabling Henry both to marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn, and to become Supreme Head of the Church of England, he also began, prior to Henry's death in 1547, to introduce liturgical reforms into the Church.
In the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI, Cranmer was considered the prime creator of the 1549 Prayer Book, the first all-English service book with reformed tendencies. Within three years, a more radical and reformed book was produced and authorised at the end of 1552. the question and issue is whether Cranmer was directly responsible for this second book which took the Church of England in a more overtly protestant direction. Many argue that he was. This book suggests that he was not.
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I have known David for over 30 years, and throughout his love and passion for liturgy has been evident. He understands liturgy as a missional tool which speaks to people in various ways and at significant spiritual levels, not least in the Eucharist as it focuses on the presence of Christ. Being sensitive to contemporary liturgy and worship, David understands how this has been influenced by the Prayer Book and why it is important to understand its lasting impact and relevance in the Church’s prevailing culture and direction. As a theological student, I learnt much about liturgy from David and I am confident this book will make a valuable contribution to the reader’s understanding and experience of the Prayer Book, which is a rich inheritance. ~ The Bishop of Doncaster
As the Church in Europe celebrates 500 years of Reformation, the Church of England is still working out what it means to be 'semper reformanda', embracing both continuity and change. This is a fascinating take on a key bit of Anglican history by an experienced parish liturgical practitioner - a sort of liturgical 'whodunit', whose consequences are still being worked out in the Church today. ~ The Archdeacon of Worcester
In Just Three Years is a delightful and comprehensive account of the formative years of the Book of Common Prayer and how those three years have continued to influence Anglican liturgy to the present day. I highly commend this vivid and fascinating book. The reader is in for a treat! ~ Ven Helene Steed, Archdeacon of Clogher