About Archbishop Cranmer

His Grace portraitThomas Cranmer was the architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. He was the Archbishop who guided England through the early Reformation, and Henry VIII through the minefield of divorce. In prison, after Mary's accession, he nearly succumbed to recant his life's achievements, but was able to turn the very day of his death at the stake into a dramatic and unequivocal demonstration of his Protestant faith. Through political crises and tortuous theological negotiations, the name of Cranmer is embedded in the history of the Church and State. He was a hesitant hero with a tangled life story, but his legacy to the English Church and the English language is imperishable.

The Archbishop Cranmer blog was founded by Adrian Hilton on March 21st 2006, the 450th anniversary of Thomas Cranmer's martyrdom. It rapidly became one of the most popular political and highest-ranking religion blogs in the UK. Hilton took as his inspiration the words of Sir Humphrey Appleby: "It’s interesting that nowadays politicians want to talk about moral issues, and bishops want to talk politics." It is the fusion of the two in public life, and the necessity for a wider understanding of their complex symbiosis, which necessitates incisive and informed comment on what are often very sensitive issues. The blog adopts a Christian conservative and conservative Christian perspective, if not a Christian Conservative and Conservative Christian perspective (for there is [sadly] an ocean of disparity and a world of divergence between that 'c' and 'C'). The greatest conservatives are those who, as Edmund Burke would say, embody and combine "a disposition to preserve" with an "ability to improve". Hence this blog is in the Catholic and Reformed tradition, still wrestling occasionally with those same theological and ecclesiastical tensions which have busied us for centuries; and probing those same societal stresses and strains which have been the hallmark of Christian civilisation for two millennia.

In 2014, the blog moved to a new platform and took on a Deputy Editor - Gillan Scott, founder of the God & Politics in the UK blog. He observes: "Jesus constantly engaged with the society around him during his ministry. Sometimes he’d be teaching, sometimes demonstrating compassion and healing and sometimes he’d be meeting with those in political and religious leadership. He didn’t shy away from the issues of the day and he definitely wasn’t afraid to speak his mind highlighting hypocrisy, abuse of power and oppression.

"Can the same be said of the church today? There are plenty of Christian individuals and organisations doing just this, but Christians face a constant battle to make their voices heard amongst all the others in the public arena. God’s agenda for society is the best one. Those in positions of power need to be reminded of it and the Church needs to lead and live by example. The United Kingdom has a rich Christian heritage. Most of our laws and values are based on biblical principles. As our society continues to become increasingly secular, moral values inevitably erode to the detriment of everyone who lives in this country. At this time in our history it is crucial that the Church stands up and delivers God’s message even when it is counter cultural and likely to cause offence."

CofEAirOfSuperiorityAnd so this blog takes a Christian perspective – or it attempts to. And that perspective is viewed through the lens of the Church of England, not only because it is the Established Church in England. But, as former Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher observed: "The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning."

Some will demur, and they are free to do so. But it is that very liberty which, in part, defines and demonstrates the mission of the Church of England.  In the words of the Queen and our Supreme Governor: "The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents. But also, gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society – more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths."

Commenting Policy

Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse. Comments on articles are therefore unmoderated, but do not necessarily reflect the views of His Grace or any staff. Comments that are off-topic, gratuitously offensive, libelous, or otherwise irritating, may be summarily deleted. However, the fact that particular comments remain on any thread does not constitute any kind of endorsement; it may simply be that they constitute intelligent and erudite contributions to religio-political discourse...or not.

Cranmer's Law:

"It hath been found by experience that no matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a conservative may be, as an argument with a liberal is advanced, the probability of being accused of ‘bigotry’, ‘hatred’ or ‘intolerance’ approaches 1 (100%).”

The Ven. Bill Stuart-White, Archdeacon of Cornwall (2017)

"Archbishop Cranmer the blogger, bless him, has made our job position extremely well known around the country, and for that…

Diocese of Truro (2017)

"We are grateful to Archbishop Cranmer for spreading the word..."

Western Morning News (2017)

"The religious blogger Archbishop Cranmer was outraged..."

Fr Simon Cutmore (2017)

"And then I found a shaft of light in the darkness. Then I found hope in the gut wrenching despair…

Professor Aaqil Ahmed, former Head of Religion at the BBC and Channel 4 (2017)

"As ever @His_Grace makes you think..."

Rev’d Michael Sadgrove, former Dean of Durham (2017)

"Tendentious nonsense about @JustinWelby comprehensively seen off thanks to @HisGrace."

His Grace Bishop Angaelos (2017)

"Presented to Archbishop Cranmer on the occasion of the pastoral visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria…

Olivia Rudgard, Daily Telegraph (2017)

"Influential Church of England blog Archbishop Cranmer.."

Fatima Manji, Channel 4 News (2017)

"A rare injection of reason among the breathless conjecture of self appointed experts - well done @His_Grace"

Rt Rev’d Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester (2017)

"His Grace, whom I generally regard as very sound indeed.."

Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden (2017)

"The blessed Cranmer, whose generosity of Spirit says more about him than about me."

Rt Rev’d Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool (2016)

"I stand with @His_Grace on this."

Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden (2016)

"Cranmer nails it."

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith (2016)

"From Cranmer... excellent stuff."

Simon Richards, CEO of The Freedom Association (2016)

"Written with style, intelligence, wit and, yes, sometimes with justifiable indignation, the Archbishop Cranmer blog is a model of all…

Rev’d Dr Giles Fraser (2016)

"The goodly @His_Grace urges Tory MPs to defy whip over genocide."

Catholic Herald (2016)

"For a view from Canterbury, I recommend visiting Archbishop Cranmer's blog, which is somewhat more cheerful about the situation."

Christian Institute (2015)

"Influential blogger Archbishop Cranmer added his voice to mounting criticism of the Government’s proposals to issue Extremism Disruption Orders to…

Stewart Jackson MP (2015)

"Thought provoking and intelligent article by Cranmer - with which I totally agree."

Austen Ivereigh (2015)

"A prophet speaks. You are warned."

Brother Ivo (2015)

"Anyone who has read the Cranmer blog over the last ten years cannot fail to have been struck by the…

Times Diary (2015)

"Archbishop Cranmer, the religion blogger, writes that Baroness Widders would 'enhance the essential moral integrity and political credibility' of the…

Guardian (2015)

"Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, made it clear in a tweet that he fully supported the programme, as well…

Austen Ivereigh (2015)

"His Grace nails it, as per."

Christian Today (2015)

"The critique was welcomed by the influential Archbishop Cranmer blog.."

The Times (2015)

"Archbishop Cranmer, a leading Anglican blog.."

Anglican Mainstream (2015)

"Archbishop Cranmer has done us all a service in this well-researched blog pointing out that, in an attempt to show…

Eddie Arthur (2014)

"He is always interesting, sometimes infuriating and without a doubt, worth reading. His championing of the cause of persecuted Christians…

Dan Hannan MEP (2014)

"It’s a bit of a shock to realise that this blog has now been going for seven years. In the…

Rev’d Stephen Heard (2014)

"Read @His_Grace's sermon.. As always, considered, elegant and prophetic."

Brian Binley MP, Dr Lee Rotherham & Lord Tebbit (2014)

"Further reading: ..the ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ blog coverage of Canon Andrew White’s astonishing work in Iraq"

Melanie Phillips (2014)

"..the terrific Archbishop Cranmer blog"

Patrick Kidd (2014)

"It was a lovely blog by @His_Grace.."

Baroness Berridge (2014)

"His Grace is accurate as ever.."

Lambeth Palace (2014)

"The Archbishop of Canterbury requests the pleasure of the company of Archbishop Cranmer.."

Pink News (2013)

"Influential Christian blogger defends PinkNews founder Benjamin Cohen against accusations of blasphemy"

National Secular Society (2012)

"The NSS wants to announce its support for the Archbishop Cranmer blog. Although it disagrees with this blogger profoundly on…

Theos (2012)

"Archbishop Cranmer, the learned and witty blogger.."

Mundabor (2012)

"I do not often link to the page of a Protestant blog, but this time I really had to make…

Dr Peter Saunders (2012)

"The inimitable Cranmer.."

Cristina Odone

"..the brilliant blogger Archbishop Cranmer"

Rt Rev’d Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford (2011)

"Archbishop Cranmer is always worth reading."

Katharine Birbalsingh (2011)

"His Grace has shown me that strangers can show each other kindness and that those who disagree can find harmony…

Toby Young (2011)

"Archbishop Cranmer has written a fantastic blog post today.."

Freddy Gray (2011)

"The blogger Archbishop Cranmer has done some excellent work.."

Fr Tim Finigan (2011)

"Archbishop Cranmer has written a robust response to the article which I commend to you."

CSM (2011)

"Archbishop Cranmer writes from a Right-leaning perspective on matters of faith and politics. I often disagree with what he has…

SPUC (2011)

"Leading UK Christian blogger.."

StandFirm (2011)

"..the wonderful Cranmer's blog.."

New Statesman (2011)

"Right-wing blogger pontificates on moral matters."

Total Politics (2011)

Voted #3 in 'Top 10 Conservative Bloggers' and #4 in 'Top 10 Right Wing Blogs'

Lord Tebbit (2011)

"..a point well made by Cranmer."

David Blackburn (2011)

"As so often where such matters are concerned, the worthy Archbishop sounds the drum for High Church Tories."

Rabbi Yehuda Hausman (2011)

"..one of the wittiest conservative thinkers out there, whether in the UK or the USA."

Jonathan Wynn-Jones (2011)

"...the Archbishop Cranmer blog, a leading Church website."

Charles Crawford (2011)

"Archbishop Cranmer surpassed himself today with a gracious and thoughtful piece about the Royal Wedding, to the point of being…

Pete Hoskin (2011)

"Blogosphere favourite, Archbishop Cranmer.."

Dr Lee Rotherham (2011)

"Cranmer is too much spot on in this whole argument. I think this is being ghost written by Burke."

Ruth Gledhill (2011)

"As Archbishop Cranmer defends the Church of England against its critics, (it raises) the question of why it needs a…

Rt Rev’d David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon (2011)

"For the uninitiated, Archbishop Cranmer has been resurrected as a Conservative-leaning Blogger of some fame. I by no means agree…

Paul Goodman (2011)

"Writing well, thinking originally and breaking stories are essential to a widely-read blog. Cranmer... observes the world as sharply and…

Platform 10 (2010)

'Blogosphere’s Best Thinking'

National Review Online (2010)

“Doubtless David Cameron will soon speak up to condemn this farce, but until he does there’s always Cranmer.”

Dr Richard North (2010)

"Add the more restrained and mellifluous voices such as Cranmer and we have a considerable reach, all the more influential…

Total Politics (2010)

Voted #11 in 'Top 20 Conservative Blogs'

Total Politics (2009)

Voted #12 in UK's 'Top 300 Political Blogs'

Tom Harris MP (2009)

“Archbishop Cranmer is a blog I’ve been reading more and more recently. His Grace is not only a very good…

Katharine Birbalsingh (2009)

"I am writing to you because you should know that you have had quite an influence on my thinking. You…

Total Politics (2009)

Voted #6 in 'Top 100 Conservative Blogs' and #9 in 'Top 100 Right of Centre Blogs'

Tom Harris MP (2009)

“There’s nothing wrong in promoting your own party to those of your own faith… Cranmer’s argument, naturally, is slightly more…

Rt Rev’d Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham (2009)

"I turned not to the Telegraph but to Cranmer for a genuinely perceptive, intelligent Conservative take."

Rt Rev’d Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon (2009)

"I was moved this morning to read Archbishop Cranmer's latest post.. The ‘community’ which Cranmer has created is not just…

Rev’d Maggi Dawn (2009)

"Archbishop Cranmer is one of the best blogs around for discussion of religion and politics... It's on the conservative end…

Mick Fealty (2009)

"And His Grace, with his customary acuity, gets to the heart of a political conceit."

Douglas Carswell MP (2009)

"...one of my favourite blogs... His Grace provides an original and amusing take on the topics of the day. If…

Ruth Gledhill (2009)

As a Muslim is appointed as the BBC’s Head of Religion, "Archbishop Cranmer has it about right."

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen (2009)

"...if you want to see why, despite everything I have written, I have a very soft spot for the C…

Rt Rev’d Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham (2009)

"Surely anyone fair-minded will agree with Archbishop Cranmer, who usually pitches around the phlegmatic end of the Conservative blogosphere."

Iain Dale (2009)

"His Grace is fluent and erudite and always entertaining whether or not you agree with some of his more dogmatic…

Mick Fealty (2008)

"Cranmer was one of the first big Tory bloggers out of the blocks with the story…"

Total Politics (2008)

Voted #6 in 'Top 100 Conservative Blogs'; #14 in 'Top 100 UK Political Blogs'; and #12 in 'Top 100 Right…

Mali Ilse Paquin (2008)

"L’excellent blogueur sur la religion Cranmer..."

Dan Hannan MEP (2008)

"Perhaps I might even, in due course, seek absolution from the shade of Archbishop Cranmer, to whose erudite blog I…

Rt Hon Dr John Redwood MP (2008)

"I recommend your blog to all my readers."

Joanna Bogle (2008)

"I looked around the Internet for a few luxurious minutes and vastly enjoyed Cranmer’s Blog…which I intend to read more…

Iain Dale (2007)

Ranked #1 in the 'Top 10 Religious Blogs' in the UK; #6 in the UK's 'Top 100 Right of Centre…

Libby Purves (2007)

"Splendidly splenetic."

The Times (2007)

UK's Top 30 Most Influential Religion Blogs

ConservativeHome (2007)

"His Grace investigates...with moral seriousness and intellectual rigour, bringing some refreshing common sense to some of the touchiest subjects in…

Iain Dale (2006)

"I take advice in matters spiritual and religious from the ghost of Archbishop Cranmer... His blog is a role model…

Rev’d Dr Giles Fraser (2015)

"Cranmer is spot on."

Andrew Brown, Guardian / Church Times (2012)

"The only original and thought-provoking point I saw in all this coverage came from the conservative blogger Cranmer..."