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. It takes as its inspiration the words of Sir Humphrey Appleby: "It’s interesting," he observed, "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 contra the forces of relativism, liberalism, postmodernism and secularism. It lies in the Catholic and Reformed tradition, 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.

CofEAirOfSuperiorityYou'll find here an unashamedly Christian perspective on contemporary events – a perspective which is viewed through (some may say skewed by) 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 Her Majesty 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%).”

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..."