24/01/2016 Songs of Praise


24/01/2016

David Grant meets residents at a rehabilitation centre who are turning to God in their mission to recover from addiction to drink and drugs.


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Hello, and today on Songs Of Praise I'm at a pioneering Christian

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rehab centre in Berkshire to discover how the residents are turning

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to God in a bid to overcome all-consuming addictions to drink

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and drugs and to rebuild their lives.

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It saved my life. I would be dead now. There is no two ways about it.

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'Also in today's programme, Radzi Chinyanganya meets the toy-shop

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'entrepreneur whose faith has inspired him

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'to stay closed on a Sunday.'

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So, if we get round to having

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a need to open on a Sunday, then we'll end up selling the business.

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And as Scotland prepares to celebrate Burns Night,

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I'll be exploring the religious upbringing of its most famous poet.

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And as it is Burns Night tomorrow, we have music from Aberdeen

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as well as a special performance from American opera singer Angel Blue,

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but we start with an inspiring spiritual

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from Holywood in Northern Ireland.

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Drug and alcohol abuse cost Britain

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tens of billions of pounds every year.

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The latest government figures reveal that more than 3,300 users lost

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their lives in 2014 and over 140,000 were treated for serious addictions.

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Some end up here, in Yeldall Manor, a Christian residential rehab centre

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in Berkshire which is helping to rebuild the lives of addicts,

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but it's NOT a holiday camp.

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Morning!

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'It's 7.30am, and Yeldall Manor manager Dan Head

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'is on his morning rounds to get its residents to breakfast on time.'

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See, we've actually got a lot of different addicts on this programme,

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from heroin to crack to alcohol,

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from many, many, many different walks of life.

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BELL RINGS

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'Substances don't discriminate between rich and poor.'

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Morning, Charlie!

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'For nearly 40 years,

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'staff here have been helping addicts kick their habits.

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'The success of its intensive programmes is due to

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'a Christian ethos and a strict regime.'

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When an individual walks through the doors at Yeldall, I want them

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to feel like they belong. I want them to feel that they're loved.

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I want them to feel like they're a part of something

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and that they are not judged, that they're accepted exactly where

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they are unconditionally of what they present or what they've done,

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because that's God and that's Christ

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and that's the Christian part of what we do.

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'For 25 years, Chris Wood was a chronic alcoholic.

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'Now, eight years after Yeldall Manor helped him beat his addiction,

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'he works here helping others rebuild their lives.'

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-How are you doing?

-All right, yeah.

-Really?

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-Er, well, there's some tough things going on at home at the moment.

-OK.

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Seeing the guys come here in various states of disrepair

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and unhappy and depressed,

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miserable, sick, and seeing the transformation,

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the way that God works here and all the stuff that the guys have to go

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through and seeing them come out the other end is absolutely phenomenal.

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You can't beat it.

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'Chris started drinking when he was just 13 years old after

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'stealing alcohol from a bar at the tennis club which his parents ran.'

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To what extent were you drinking,

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and when did you realise that it was a problem?

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I realised much later in life that I probably became an alcoholic

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when I was 15, but in my twenties I was drinking anything up to

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two litres of vodka a day

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plus any other beers I could get my hands on and, you know,

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-existing on that.

-How did it shape you as a person?

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Liar, cheat, thief, womaniser,

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but, inside, you know what you're doing to yourself,

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you're full of guilt, shame, embarrassment,

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but you just continue with it. The power of addiction is...

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you would think, at the time, unassailable.

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You come from quite a privileged background, Chris,

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so what was it, do you think, for you, was a trigger into alcoholism?

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The thing that I found was actually through counselling here, that

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I wasn't aware of, was that I had a fixation with my dad.

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Mine's a really cool guy. He's a really lovely bloke.

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I actually wanted to be him, but I didn't realise that.

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And when it was pointed out in counselling that...

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"Despite your faults, Chris, it's all right to be you,

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"God loves you just the way you are,"

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it was a huge burden off my shoulders.

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BELL RINGS

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'Chris's experience is typical of many residents' at Yeldall,

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'who find structure, acceptance and Christianity.'

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If we want to take addicts, their lifestyle is chaotic,

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extremely unstructured.

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To help an individual recover, what needs to happen

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is they need to be stabilised,

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and therefore at Yeldall our programme is extremely structured

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so it aids the therapeutic process.

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..and we know that Christ walks amongst us every day, all the time.

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So, in a nutshell, what would you say walking through that door

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-has done to your life?

-It saved my life. Simple as that. Saved my life.

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I would be dead now. There is no two ways about it.

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HYMN: In Christ Alone

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LAUGHTER AND CHATTER

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The rush of the January sales is over, but the topic of Sunday

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trading continues to prove a hotly contested subject among politicians.

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The Government is still considering plans to relax current laws,

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which allow large stores and supermarkets to only open

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on Sundays for a maximum of six hours.

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Still, there's one high-street shop where you won't hear the tills

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ringing on a Sunday whatever happens.

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We sent Radzi Chinyanganya to a shop in Staines to find out more.

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-All right if we go inside?

-By all means.

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I never get bored of coming into a toy shop.

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'For a big kid like me,

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'I can only imagine how cool it would be to own a toy shop.'

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So, as a child, my favourite toy was a scooter.

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'But businessman Gary Grant is living that dream.'

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Three, two, one, go.

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Ooh!

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'With shelves crammed with games and gadgets,

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'you could shop till you drop,

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'but never on a Sunday.'

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One of the reasons that we don't trade on a Sunday is that

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we're Christians. So we've never opened on a Sunday.

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Gary opened his first shop in 1981.

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Fast-forward 35 years,

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and he now has over 100 stores in the UK and beyond.

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Here we are, 7749.

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'But then one day, a simple gift dramatically changed Gary's life.'

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My wife bought me a ticket to a men's breakfast at a local church.

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I was 33.

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And I was fascinated by what I heard.

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And I realised that, actually, I hadn't actually rejected Jesus,

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I'd actually rejected church.

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And I'd grown up thinking church was boring, but I found, actually, that

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church was actually full of young people, the new, modern worship songs

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I loved, and that's now been a journey I've been on for 25 years.

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-ALL:

-# Lord, how we love you... #

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'Soon, Gary realised his new faith would have a big

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'impact on the way he made decisions for his business.'

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I think people thought maybe, "The guy's having a nervous breakdown.

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"What's changing?" - because there WAS a big change.

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I remember when Sunday trading came in,

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I was praying that God would say,

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"Sunday trading, Gary, that's absolutely fine,"

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and I felt I heard God say to me really quietly,

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"Gary, no amount of praying will get me to change my mind."

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But as the Lord's Prayer says, "Let thy will be done."

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'But it's not all been plain sailing.

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'Never were Gary's principles more tested than when recession struck.'

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Well, 2008 really affected us.

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Our business dropped by about a third overnight.

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We had 1,000 employees relying on me delivering their monthly paycheque.

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It was quite a lot of responsibility.

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At one stage, it looked like we were going to lose £1 million.

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We were challenged by our bankers at the time.

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"Should you consider opening on Sundays?

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"Wouldn't it be a quick result, the solution to what you're in?"

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And I said, "Look, you know, if we get round to having a need to

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"open the business on a Sunday, then we'll end up selling the business."

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'Staying closed on a Sunday might have affected Gary's profit margins,

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'but do his customers support his ethical stance?'

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It's actually quite good that the shop's closed on Sunday.

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When I was growing up, shops were closed on Sunday, just a time

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to kind of not be consuming and buying and time to rest.

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I'm a Christian. I actually think hours on a Sunday

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should be open longer so it'd help other people

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do their shopping, because they don't get time through the week.

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I think people connect with that Sunday should be a special day

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and that sort of religion.

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I think it does attract people who have the same beliefs.

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What's that?

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'Despite remaining closed on a Sunday, Gary is opening new

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'stores around the world,

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'but whatever the financial weather,

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'Sundays will always remain special for Gary and his business.'

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# Do you hear the sound of change

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# Growing louder through the pain?

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# Praying hard to keep things going

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# Lord God, you're ever-knowing

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# Keep us planted on firm ground

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# Trying to go the extra mile

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# May take a little while

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# But it will happen in God's time

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# Let us all sing

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# Sing together

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# Let us all sing

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# Sing till it's over

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# Joy will come

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# In the morning

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# Like a fire

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# Blazing through the night

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# Looking for that destination

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# May take a little patience

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# It will happen in God's time

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# We must go the extra mile

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# May take a little while

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# But everything will be just fine

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# Let us all sing

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# Sing together

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# Let us all sing

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# Sing till it's over

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# Now you've reached your destination

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# Don't forget your occupation

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# Thanking God for all that he has done

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# It is his grace by which I stand

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# And now I lend a helping hand

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# Praising him for this journey

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# Let us all sing

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# Sing together

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# Let us all sing

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# Sing till it's over

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# Let us all sing

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# We'll sing cos it's over

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# Let us all sing

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# Till it's over

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# Ooh...

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# Let us all, let us all sing. #

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What a voice!

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Coming up, as Scotland prepares to celebrate Burns Night,

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we will be exploring the faith of one of its most famous sons,

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but first, we've more music, this time from Manchester.

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From ceilidhs to suppers of tatties and neeps, tomorrow Scots across

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the world will be celebrating Burns Night to mark the bard's birthday.

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Sally has been looking at the importance of faith

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in the poet's upbringing.

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# Should old acquaintance be forgot... #

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The cottage in which Burns was born has long been

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a place of pilgrimage for those who love his poems.

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But in 2010, the National Trust for Scotland opened a £21 million

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museum to display more than 5,000 artefacts and original writings...

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# For auld lang syne... #

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..the desk where he sat to write...

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# For auld lang syne... #

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..his family Bible...

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..and a fascinating insight into Robert's family life

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when he was a boy.

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# For auld lang syne. #

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This is one of the treasures here in the museum.

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It's a manual of religious belief.

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It was written probably in the early 1770s by William Burns,

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the father of the poet Robert Burns.

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It was written for Robert and also his brother Gilbert.

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And in the Church of Scotland usually you would have had a catechism,

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an instruction manual, where the questioner would say to the child,

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"Who is God? What is the Christian religion?" etc.

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This is slightly different, because the questions are asked by the child.

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And what we have here is something that maybe doesn't look or read

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all that striking to modern eyes, but in its day, in the late 18th century,

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it's emphasising love, it's emphasising reason,

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it tells us about repentance.

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The child says, "Why should we repent? How do we repent?"

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And the father says, "Well, we repent because we use our minds to work out

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"when we've done something wrong, because God has given us

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"that intelligence, that reason."

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One of the phrases that's reiterated in the manual of religious belief

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is "the moral law",

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and that's the idea, more or less, that we

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can work out for ourselves what is good and what is evil.

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In his poem The Cotter's Saturday Night, Burns describes a family

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gathering round the table for an evening meal and for family worship.

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He wales a portion with judicious care

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And, "Let us worship God!" he says with solemn air

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Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme

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How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed

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How he, who bore in Heaven the second name

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Had not on earth whereon to lay his head.

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And Burns was in no doubt as to the importance for Scotland

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of its families discussing the Bible.

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From scenes like these, old Scotia's grandeur springs

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That makes her lov'd at hame, rever'd abroad

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Princes and lords are but the breath of kings

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"An honest man's the noblest work of God."

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Earlier, I discovered how faith is playing its part in helping addicts

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turn their lives around here

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at Yeldall Manor rehabilitation centre in Berkshire.

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BELL RINGS

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In fact, almost three quarters of its residents who

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complete its programmes end up living free of drugs and alcohol.

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Regular assessments track how they're measuring up in their attempts to get

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clean, and this week is a big one for one of its residents in particular.

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-Morning, guys.

-ALL:

-Good morning.

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Right, the big news for today

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is Tom completes the first-stage programme.

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CHEERING

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'35-year-old Tom is a former chef,

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'and today he's celebrating being alcohol-free for the past six months.

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'It's a massive achievement for Tom, who's been a chronic alcohol

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'and drug user for more than 20 years.'

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-How tough has it been for you here?

-It's been amazingly tough.

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The toughest thing that I've ever done in my life

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is being here, with the rules and how stressful it is being here.

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And learning about the hurt and the damage you've done to people

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through your addiction is a big, big part of it

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and trying to realise that I was powerless with my addiction

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and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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'Because he's stayed clean,

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'Tom's now entering the second stage of his rehab programme,

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'which includes him living more independently to aid his recovery.'

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So, this is the communal living room we have.

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-It's a nice size, isn't it, as well?

-Yeah. Nice, big TV.

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-All five of you share this?

-Yeah, all five of us share this.

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We have a communal kitchen, and we all have our own bedrooms.

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'In line with its Christian ethos,

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'all Yeldall residents are required to attend

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'church on Sundays during the first stage of their rehab programme,

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'and for Tom it's proved life-changing.

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'I really struggled with it.'

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I actually walked out of church the first time

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and got in a bit of trouble for that.

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But four months down the line,

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-I was getting baptised in one of the churches.

-Wow!

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And now it makes my life so much easier.

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If I am having struggles, I can take time out to pray,

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meditate, and it makes life so much better.

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For some residents, coming to Yeldall Manor is a last chance to get

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clean after treatment at other centres has failed.

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This place is just special. If I wouldn't have come to Yeldall,

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I wouldn't have been able

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to get clean anywhere else.

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I've tried treatment before.

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I was in treatment a few years ago, and I got told quite a while ago

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that until I got a connection with God, I wasn't going to get clean.

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I dismissed it at the time. It was never a truer word said.

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I've come back to treatment, I've come to Yeldall. It had to be here.

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You know, I believe God brought me here for a purpose,

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for a reason, and that's to get connected with the Yeldall family

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and the Christian faith.

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CHEERING

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BIRDSONG

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Well, that's about it for today. I hope you've enjoyed the programme.

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Next week, we'll be talking to Libby Lane,

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the Church of England's first female bishop,

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about her first year in the job.

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But we end today with a rousing gospel hymn from London.

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Thanks for watching.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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