All Through the Night Songs of Praise


All Through the Night

Diane Louise Jordan stays up all night to meet people who go to work while most of the country sleeps. Includes hymns and performances with a night-time theme.


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Waterloo Bridge at sunset. It has some of the best views in London.

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MUSIC: "Waterloo Sunset" by The Kinks

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And today's Songs Of Praise is all about the things that happen

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after the sun's gone down, and I'll be staying up all night,

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meeting the people who work whilst most of us are fast asleep.

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There are the Street Angels watching over Bedford's clubbers,

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the chaplains helping truck drivers through the night.

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I'll also be travelling down the Thames to find out why

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the river has never been safer, and we'll have inspiring hymns

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and performances with a night-time theme.

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Once night has fallen, most of us look forward

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to snuggling up in warm, cosy beds.

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But for many, the day is just beginning.

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In fact, it's reckoned that over four million of us

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work anti-social hours.

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Leisure, health, transport, manufacturing -

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all depend on night-time workers to keep going.

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Without night-time workers,

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a lot of these services would just grind to a halt.

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Now, our first hymn today on Songs Of Praise is usually

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sung at the end of the programme,

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but today it seems appropriate to have it at the beginning.

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The last shoppers have headed home

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and the streets are filling up with people looking for fun.

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The police will be working through the night to prevent crime

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and in many towns and cities,

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Christian volunteers will be on the streets mingling with

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the clubbers, keeping an eye out for anybody who needs help.

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They are called Street Angels.

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I went to Bedford on a typical Saturday night to find out

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how a tragedy was the catalyst to forming the Bedford Street Angels.

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Robert Gill was just 17 when he said goodnight to his parents

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and headed into Bedford town centre for a night out with friends.

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We weren't expecting him back until the next day.

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He was with people we trusted

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and they ended up going to a club in Bedford.

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In the club they got separated and Robert was sick without

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the support of a friend there and got asked to leave the club.

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And the people he was with waited outside, looking for him

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till three o'clock in the morning.

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But he'd been taken by three youths

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and we saw on CCTV eventually that they walked him through

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the town to the ATMs and they eventually went out of sight

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at one of the Bedford bridges

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and he was found in the river...

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-..nearly a week...

-Nearly a week later.

-Nearly a week later.

-Yes.

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Your child dying is a worst-case scenario

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and then to know that actually, somebody else took their life...

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-That's beyond your worst nightmare.

-Mm.

-Yes.

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As Christians, we're told that we should forgive.

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Is it actually possible to do that in a situation like this?

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I just knew - we knew - that we had to forgive

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and we took that stand right from the start and somehow,

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God has given us the strength and the grace to stand by that.

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There is nothing that we could be angry about and do to them

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that would be worse than what they had done to themselves, in a sense.

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Has there been anything redeeming about this situation?

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Er, Street Angels starting in Bedford.

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There had already been people looking into whether

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something could be done in the town centre because there were problems.

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What had happened to Robert - that kind of galvanised things

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and fairly soon afterwards, the decision was made to

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go for Street Angels as an organisation and we were invited to

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become part of that and we were part of that from the very early stages.

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What we do specifically is to be out on the streets of Bedford

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on Saturday nights and we're there for people who have become

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vulnerable through drinking too much.

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We're there to support them and help them and help them to keep safe.

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Sometimes it's just as simple as somebody needing a drink of water.

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They become dehydrated through drinking too much.

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Sometimes, the ladies have had too much of their high heels

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and can't manage on them any more,

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so we carry flip-flops around with us and we give those out to people.

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Just, you know, we look out to keep people safe and to help them

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in whatever way we can.

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-So we're in the high street.

-Yes.

-I'm itching to sort of find out what you do.

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Where do you go? What do we do first?

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We'll go up the high street and see if there's anybody who

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-needs our help and just see what's happening in the town.

-All right.

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-So lead the way and I'll follow you.

-Yes.

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If somebody is in a state that they can't get a taxi home,

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we'll wait with them until they are able to get a taxi

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and just make sure they do get home safely.

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We have a very good working relationship with the police. They're brilliant.

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They'll call us if they see somebody who needs help and we'll go

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and be with them for as long as needed.

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There's been a couple of times when it's been a vulnerable person

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along the streets that we know Robert went along

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and we know that there's one, nothing can happen to you

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because we're out on the streets.

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So she's got somebody who is in distress?

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Yes, she's telling us that there's somebody down here that needs help.

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-The thing that we can do is mention it to CCTV.

-Right.

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And they can observe.

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Well, what we're seeing at the moment is typically

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what the Street Angels have to deal with on a Saturday evening.

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We were just sort of talking in the crowd with some of the revellers

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and a young lady came up to us

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and told us that we had to come down this lane

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because one of the guys in her group,

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he's actually had too much to drink.

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He's come out of the club

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and he's just passed out on the side of the street.

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We don't know quite how serious it is at the moment but it seems

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as if it's not really a great situation

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so we're just sort of standing back,

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letting the Street Angels do what they do best,

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and also, you know, praying that everything actually works out.

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They are probably the only people

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that will actually stop to help rather than...

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If public were just walking past, they'll just be,

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"It's just another drunk on the road." They'll just carry on walking

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-rather than actually stopping and being like, "Are you OK?"

-Yeah.

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-Exactly.

-Which is what you need.

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Thankfully, he's fine now.

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I don't quite know what I expected

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when I came out on the streets with the Angels tonight.

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I certainly didn't expect it to be quite so active.

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They engage with people on so many levels.

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As we can see just over here, you know, even if it's just talking to people

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and making friends with them and for me, it's just a really

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beautiful way of seeing God's love literally in action.

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# Glory to thee my God this night

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# For all the blessings of the light

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# Keep me, O keep me, King of Kings

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# Beneath thine own almighty wings

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# Praise God from whom all blessings flow

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# Praise Him all creatures here below

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# Praise Him above angelic host

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# Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

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# Praise God from whom all blessings flow

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# Praise Him all creatures here below

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# Praise Him above angelic host

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# Praise Him above angelic host

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# Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

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# Amen. #

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Without ships and seafarers,

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Christianity would never have reached the shores of Britain.

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'And rivers like the Thames acted as highways as the word spread inland.

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'Today, the Thames is one of the world's busiest waterways

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'and shipping is managed by the Port of London Authority.

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'Kevin Gregory went to sea at the age of 16

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'and now he's the man responsible for making sure the river runs

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'safely and efficiently day and night.'

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Kevin, I love being on this boat at night.

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I mean, this feels really, like, romantic to me

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but there's a serious side to this, isn't there?

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Why have the boats on the river?

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Yeah, I mean the River Thames is much bigger than people think.

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It's an area of over 600 square miles of waterway and we're here to make

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sure that everyone's safe 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

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Millions of commuters and passengers a year use the river,

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even on an evening time such as this we've still got commuters

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going home, people coming out for receptions and parties on the river

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and we're here to keep them safe and secure wherever they want to go.

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But for the partygoers and people who are travelling

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surely around midnight or 1am, that will stop. What happens after that?

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It's natural to say that the parties stop and the commuters go home

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but the river is still very busy.

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People sometimes don't realise how reliant Londoners are

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on the River Thames.

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Most of London's rubbish and garbage

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and waste leaves the city centre via river.

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All the boats need to be fuelled overnight and also most of London's

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imports come by the River Thames as well into the major docks

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in the estuary at Tilbury and in South Essex,

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so the river's busy 24 hours a day.

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Now, there are certain hymns that are really associated with

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seafarers and the sea. Do you have a favourite?

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I think the hymn that most seafarers and their families relate to

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a lot is Eternal Father, Strong To Save and I think it's a real

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classic for seafarers and one which they and their families appreciate.

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So, Kevin, we're standing here on the Thames Barrier just

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outside your control room. What exactly is it that you do?

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Well, inside the control room is very similar to air traffic control

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but for ships. We're here to ensure that all the vessels

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navigating on the River Thames can navigate safely

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and efficiently to wherever they want to go.

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I think my faith is very important.

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Although subtle in its place at work, I think it does help

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in managing a large and diverse team

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'like we have in the port.'

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'It makes me very conscious of the personal stresses

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'and strains that shift work would bring, particularly when working

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'overnight and being separated from your friends and families.'

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Also working at key times of the year such as Christmas and Easter,

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or when, as happens, staff become ill, it really does help complement

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'the professional side of the job in my personal dealings with the team.'

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If you look around your room now, virtually everything you see

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will have probably at some point travelled through

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the night on the back of a lorry.

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But every trucker needs to take a break.

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And while the truckstop cafe can take care of the food,

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Glory Road wants to take care of truckers' spiritual nourishment.

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The ministry has a network of volunteers on call,

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day and night, whatever the need.

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They're OK with the driving, that's not a problem,

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but when they're alone,

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especially at night, you know, when there's no-one else around,

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the mind can take over and, you know,

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if they're suffering from depression or anything like that,

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'or they've got a problem at home, relationship problems,

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'that can really be bad for them and it's that time

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'when they need someone to be on the end of a phone for them

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'so they've got someone to call when no-one else is around.'

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An awful lot of ex-servicemen come into the driving industry

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and just recently we've been helping, over the last three and a half years,

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a Royal Marine called Karl. He phoned up

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and he said, "Look, I'm not interested in all the God stuff

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"but can you help me? I'm in a mess." I said, "Of course I can."

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And for the last three and a half years I've been helping him

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get over the effects of PTSD, you know, from the first Gulf War

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and Afghanistan and things like that.

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The main problem was

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the death of two of my mates,

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that I witnessed, that was the major problem.

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But because of that one incident, I was very aggressive.

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The aggression just built up inside me.

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I wouldn't talk.

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If anyone looked at me the wrong way,

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I wasn't a nice person to be around.

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And that led to family not wanting me around,

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friends - losing a lot of friends,

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couldn't hold a relationship,

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it was a lonely time.

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You know, Chris being an ex-truck driver,

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he knew what we were going through.

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So I came to a point in my life where I thought,

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-it is time

-I

-did something to change.

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I am 46 now and it has taken me a long time to realise

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you cannot say nothing. You have got to talk.

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It's the only way you will unload

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what you've built up over the years.

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'And with his help, Chris, and Debbie, my wife,'

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which I never thought would happen but it did, I like myself now.

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Before, I didn't.

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And that is what we'd like to do for more people like him.

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We want them to know that we won't judge them.

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We don't have a right to judge them.

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We are here to love them as Christ loved them unconditionally.

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# Love fear not, though sad thy dreaming

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# All through the night

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# Though o'ercast bright stars are gleaming

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# All through the night

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# Joy will come to thee at morning

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# Life with sunny hopes adorning

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# Though sad dreams may give dark warning

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# All through the night

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# Angels watching close around thee

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# All through the night

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# In thy slumbers close surround thee

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# All through the night

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# They will of all fear disarm thee

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# No forebodings should alarm thee

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# They will let no peril harm thee

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# All through the night. #

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Heavenly Father, bless those who work nights,

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and help us to feel your love guiding us through the darkness.

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Grant us the strength to protect the vulnerable

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and through your love to forgive those who cause us harm.

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We thank you that you accept us where we are

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but you don't leave us there.

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Weeping may endure for a night, but your joy comes in the morning.

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Amen.

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It's nearly 4 o'clock in the morning

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and the streets are beginning to quieten down.

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Soon, the sun will be rising and many of us will be

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getting up ready to face a brand-new day.

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Now for exciting news of our next gospel choir competition.

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After the phenomenal success last year,

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we're going to do it all over again.

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If you'd like your gospel choir to be seen and heard,

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then go to our website where you will find all the details you need.

0:33:390:33:41

You never know, it could be your choir lifting the trophy.

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Diane Louise Jordan stays up all night to meet people who head to work while most of the country sleeps.

She takes a night time trip along the River Thames and introduces a selection of hymns and performances with a night time theme.


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