The Cranmer Cup is a biennial golfing competition between a team of sixteen Anglican clergy from Great Britain & Ireland against a team of Anglican clergy from the USA & Canada. (Thomas Cranmer compiled the Prayer Book, a common link for all our churches, hence the title of the competition cup). The competition follows a similar pattern to the Ryder Cup, and this year was played on two of the courses at Celtic Manor near Newport in Wales, with Team GB&I hoping to win back the trophy which has been held by the Americans for quite a few years now.
Rev David Sceats, Rev Duncan McCosh, and Rev Jim Mein (three clergy from the Edinburgh Diocese), and Rev John Cuthbert from Inverness (the only one of the four who isn’t retired) were the four Scots who joined up with five Irish, one Welsh, and six English clergy – the Welshman was the Most Rev Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales.
The event was played over a week in July with a couple of practice rounds and five competitive rounds. We wear blue, red, white or green golf shirts on consecutive days to recognise each province.
The last player happened to be Archbishop Barry, and as he and his opponent came up the eighteenth, he had no idea how the scores stood and whether his score would matter or not. He knew when he sunk the winning putt, and a great cheer went up, that it did indeed matter. How appropriate for the Cranmer Cup to be won in Wales by the final putt by the Archbishop of Wales.
The next event will be in June 2018 in British Columbia west of the Rockies, at a course called Talking Rock which is run by Canadian First Nations people. Team GB&I will have to carry the trophy across, but will they be carrying it back again?