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By kind permission of Mark Scarlata

Latimer’s Pulpit


The Church of St Edward, King and Martyr

Cambridge, UK



The pulpit played a key role at the start of the Reformation in England.

What does it look like?

The pulpit is made of wood. The wood has a linen fold pattern on it, rather like folded cloth. There is a short flight of four steps, which lead to a small door at waist height, through which the preacher enters. The door is closed behind the preacher during the sermon.

Who, what and where?

It is named after Hugh Latimer, who was a prominent leader of the English Reformation, its maker is not known. The pulpit was made, so that clergy could preach sermons from it, to instruct people in the Christian Faith. It is a couple of feet above ground level, so that the congregation can clearly see the preacher.

Are there links to current religious practices or a modern equivalent?

The pulpit is still used every Sunday for the preaching of the sermon in St Edward’s church. Most churches have a pulpit for the same purpose.

Why is it significant to the study of religion?

The Reformation happened in the 16th century, when many people left the Church of Rome to found Protestant Churches. The movement began in earnest with the work of Martin Luther in Germany in the early 16th century.  The pulpit in St Edward’s Church is particularly important, as it is thought that the first openly Protestant or Evangelical sermon in England was preached here, at midnight mass, Christmas 1525, by Robert Barnes, in which he accused the Church of heresies. The pulpit played a key role at the start of the Reformation in England. Hugh Latimer preached regularly from the pulpit.

Where is it from, where is it now?

For more details about the church and how to visit, see their website.



St Edward King and Martyr

You can visit St Edwards,  which has recently also become a centre for meditative Christianity.


Thomas Cranmer: A Life 

Diarmaid Macculloch

1997, Yale University Press