Anne with her Archbishop's Cranmer Medal and Sing Praise that she was instrumental in bringing to the worshipping congregations of the Anglican Church. (Picture: Keith Blundy)

Durham City based Anne Harrison, a Church Musician and Academic, has become the proud recipient of The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship in recognition of her sustained and outstanding contribution to music in worship.

Anne received Her Lambeth Award from the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this month in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace in London.

Receiving her award amongst only five others in the category in 2017 and only the second time the awards have been given, Anne said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be recognised in this way and when Archbishop Justin placed the medal around my neck I said to him ‘This
is amazing!’ – to which he replied: ‘you know I sing your Benedictus most mornings in the chapel here at Lambeth?’.

“It  was quite extraordinary, I felt overwhelmingly humbled really especially when others in the room were far better known and widely accomplished than I – but it was a real affirmation of the work that I have done and the borders I have tried to cross between different types of music.”

Anne is a regular worshipper at St Nicholas Church in Durham market place and at Durham Cathedral; as well as having been active on the Durham Diocesan liturgical committee and as a tutor at St John’s College with Cranmer Hall.  

The citation for her Lambeth award reads:

(Picture: Lambeth Palace)

Having studied music at Oxford University, Anne Harrison taught music in London before moving to the Cambridgeshire Fens, and then to Durham where, in the mid-1990s, she became Music Co-ordinator at St John’s College with Cranmer Hall. This included time with ordinands, notably teaching a weekly ‘Preparation for Worship’ session with the liturgist, the late Michael Vasey. She was co-ordinating editor of the Royal School of Church Music’s quarterly Sunday by Sunday for ten years until 2012, during which period she received an Honorary ARSCM and completed an MA in Music and Liturgy at Leeds University.

Anne has been active in both the local RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) and the Diocesan Liturgical Committee – leading Taizé services in Durham Cathedral and helping to shape courses and conferences bringing together music and liturgy. Her two Grove Monographs – Sing it Again: The Place of Short Songs in Worship (W176) and Recovering The Lord’s Song: Getting Sung Scripture Back into Worship (W198) highlight two of her key interests: repeated short songs in worship (especially from the Taizé and Iona Communities), and sung Scripture, such as her Benedictus setting, published in Common Worship Daily Prayer.

Anne chaired the Editorial Group for Sing Praise (2010) and was a member of the editorial team for Ancient and Modern (2013), both sub-titled Hymns and Songs for Refreshing Worship. She is a member of the Committee of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland and of the Group for the Renewal of Worship, and a trustee of the Song and Hymn Writers Foundation. She writes on music, hymnody and song for Praxis News of Worship. Her contribution has been outstanding.


Anne is pictured with her award and it being presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury

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