Thomas Cranmer - Bitesize Biographies (Hamer)

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Evangelical Press

Thomas Cranmer, one of the Reformation's most famous martyrs, can accurately be described as the architect of the Church of England, and consequently, of the worldwide Anglican communion. Despite this, compared with other key figures of the Reformation, little has been written about him in recent years.

This omission is both remarkable and understandable: remarkable, because undoubtedly Crammer's involvement in England's break with the historic Roman Church was crucial - a break which formed the foundation for the freedom of the gospel in England for the next 450 years; understandable, because his was no dramatic conversion loved by story tellers - rather he undertook a life-time journey away from the Roman sacramental system to an understanding that heaven was the gift of God to all those whom he loves. And, despite the fact that we are all fallen men and women, we so often want to see our heroes as giants, able to cope with every situation life throws at them without faltering - Cranmer was not such a man.

This book looks to assess his life from the perspective of a 21st century evangelical Christian - that is someone who accepts the Bible as the final authority on what God requires of men and women in this life. It is a term that Cranmer, as he neared his famous, dreadful, and glorious end, would have been happy to have applied to himself. 

Table of Contents:

  1. The early years
  2. From academic to archbishop
  3. The early years with Henry VIII
  4. The later years with Henry VIII
  5. A new beginning under Edward VI
  6. A Reformation halted under Mary I
  7. A heroic death
  8. An evangelical faith
  9. An assessment   



Colin Hamer is currently chairman of a charity that works with the homeless and other vulnerable groups. Following his graduation from Liverpool University in 1972 with BA (Hons), he spent a short time teaching then pursued a business career for more than twenty-five years. He has been an elder at Grace Baptist Church, Astley, Manchester, for twenty years. 



“Colin Hamer’s Thomas Cranmer presents the story of the great English reformer in an appealing manner, with an honest description of his weaknesses and failures as well as a proper emphasis on his good and endearing qualities. An additional benefit from this brief book is a readable and accurate survey of the convoluted English history during the time of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary Tudor. I was informed and inspired as I read of Cranmer, ‘the architect of the Church of England’.” – David B. Calhoun 

“Interacting with recent research that has greatly enhanced our knowledge of Cranmer, Colin Hamer has written an outstanding brief biography. Hamer brings this turbulent period to life in a lucid and accurate account of the often muddled connection between politics, intrigue and the Christian faith in the English Reformation. Anyone interested in the gospel, in the history of the faith in England, or in the background to where we are today should read this book.” – Robert Letham