Chatsworth Songs of Praise


Chatsworth

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Transcript


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I'm in the Peak District, at the beautiful Chatsworth Estate,

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where they're holding their first-ever annual flower show.

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Welcome to Songs Of Praise.

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On today's show, I'm joining a flower-arranging class

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with a Church of England expert.

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Facing this way a little bit.

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-Remember the congregation are that way.

-Oh, yes, of course they are.

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Pam Rhodes and historian Kate Williams

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discover a 500-year-old message

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from a secret royal visitor to Derbyshire.

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And former JLS pop star JB Gill

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tells me about his Christian faith,

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and sings one of his favourite songs of praise.

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Chatsworth is one of Britain's best-loved stately homes.

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This is the very first time they've hosted a flower show.

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And the displays are breathtaking.

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Much of this week's music comes from the village of Tideswell,

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near the Chatsworth Estate, here in Derbyshire.

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St John's Church is known as the Cathedral of the Peak.

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And what better way to start than with this hymn,

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which truly celebrates God's creation?

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There are thousands of arrangements here at the Chatsworth Flower Show.

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Every week, churches across the UK are decorated with flowers

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by an army of volunteers.

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Ada Fawthrop is chair of the Church of England Flower Arrangers' Association.

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I thought I'd done everything in the 17 years I've been presenting Songs Of Praise,

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but this is a first. Flower-arranging!

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Ada here is putting us all through our paces.

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We've got Faith and Libby here, as well.

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I've never done this before, so be gentle with me. Where do we start?

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-Here, obviously!

-Yes, we're going to start...

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We're trying to make a pedestal,

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-which is like a head and arms, like that.

-OK.

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-Like Christ, holding out his arms to you.

-OK.

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-So start with something tall at the back, like this.

-Right.

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-And then, two arms.

-Two arms.

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-Tilting down.

-Tilting down. OK.

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Do you think your flower-arranging talent comes from God?

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Well, I think everything comes from God.

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It's a good answer.

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ADA LAUGHS

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So, when Ada goes on her holiday for a couple of weeks, do you think Aled

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could take over flower-arranging in your local church?

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-We'd be pleased to have you.

-Oh, yay! That was the right answer!

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-Now, then. One, two, three.

-OK. I'll do this over here.

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Facing this way a little bit.

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-Remember the congregation are that way.

-Oh, yes, of course they are.

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So how are we all doing, Ada? How are the girls doing?

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-You're doing well. Looking lovely!

-Yes, they're coming lovely.

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Just flick it out with your fingers and they open up a little bit.

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Are these just flowers to you, or do they mean something more?

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I think when flowers open, that's a really beautiful thing, isn't it?

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-It is.

-And you just think, "Wow! Isn't God wonderful!"

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-Yeah.

-I just love playing with flowers.

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You know, I love growing them and, er...

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and I like the result afterwards.

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Yeah. We're getting there. I think it's looking lovely.

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How much more are we putting in?

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-These are called alstromeria, and this...

-Alstromeria? OK.

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-This is what you'd call a filler flower.

-OK.

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-Would you like to carry on doing this, do you reckon?

-I think so.

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-I'm quite enjoying it.

-It's quite therapeutic, isn't it?

-It really is.

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-Anyway, you carry on because yours isn't as good as ours yet.

-Ah!

-Oh!

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I can't believe I've been with you all this time

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and I haven't asked you, what's your favourite flower?

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-Um...I think I would say a daisy.

-Why?

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It's just like a happy, smiling face, isn't it? Look at that.

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-It is, isn't it?

-Just like a...

-It lifts the soul.

-Yes, yes.

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Well, Ada, it's not a bad effort for first time, is it?

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It's not a bad effort at all.

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I've got to say, the girls have outshone me, though.

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They've done really, really well.

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I suppose the million-dollar question is, guys,

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what do you think of our creations? Any good?

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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Chatsworth has long been a magnet for visitors,

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but go back 500 years and there was a royal guest here

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who wasn't quite visiting,

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and who left a secret message for the people of Derbyshire.

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Pam's been finding out more with historian, Kate Williams.

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So, Kate, who was this mysterious royal resident?

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We're talking about Mary Queen of Scots, who came here in the 1500s.

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And go back and picture the scene.

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Elizabeth's on the throne, it's a Protestant country,

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and here's her cousin, the beautiful Catholic queen,

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and she keeps being part of these plots to depose Elizabeth,

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to throw her off the throne.

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And what Elizabeth does is she sends Mary up to Derbyshire

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to get her out of the way of the plotters

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and pretty much out of her hair.

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So why did Elizabeth feel so threatened?

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Was it by the woman or by the faith?

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It was really the faith.

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Because Mary, she believed that England should have a Catholic queen,

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a Catholic monarch, and should be a Catholic country.

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And that means deposing Elizabeth.

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So Mary is this huge threat to Elizabeth.

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She's a threat to her country, she's a threat to her throne,

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and, really, she's a threat to her life.

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The First Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot,

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who lived at Chatsworth,

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was the man charged with detaining Mary in Derbyshire for 16 years.

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But during that time, she was allowed to visit the nearby

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spa town of Buxton and enjoy its comforts.

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Well, this is the actual room where she stayed.

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It's not bad, if you're a captive, is it, really?

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Pretty good for a prison. So Mary is under house arrest,

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but her surroundings are quite luxurious at this point.

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When Mary was here, Buxton was so fashionable,

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there were banquets, there were glamorous dinners.

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All the local nobles came to meet the queen.

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But did she have a premonition even then that it would come to an end?

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Mary did know it was going to change,

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and when one of the plots was uncovered against Elizabeth,

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that's when she knew this couldn't continue.

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And what she did was she wrote, with a diamond ring, on the glass,

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this is a replica here, a goodbye.

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And what she writes in Latin is, "Buxton, whose warm waters

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"have made your name famous,

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"perchance I will never see you again.

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"Vale - goodbye."

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And that is pretty clear, she knows that the fun times are over.

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And her faith, I guess, would have become even more important to her.

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Absolutely. And this, we can see here,

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she also scratched with her diamond ring, this time in French,

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the language of her childhood,

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"Even though people have said evil things about me,

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"even though they've maligned my faith,

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"God alone know what's in my heart,

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"and one day, he will show my innocence.

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"His virtue attracts me."

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But at the age of 44,

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Mary would be condemned to death by Queen Elizabeth.

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Elizabeth realised that even though she put her in the middle of nowhere,

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there were still plots,

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Mary was still retaining her Catholic faith.

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And so Elizabeth had to go for some more determined action,

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and that, ultimately, led to execution.

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It's this amazing story of conviction and courage

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and an unshakeable faith in God.

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A flower show, like this one in Chatsworth,

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is a super way of appreciating the great outdoors.

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And our next guest has spent the last two years

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starting a new life as a farmer,

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having enjoyed considerable success with the boyband, JLS.

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# J-J-J-J-JLS

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# Everybody in love Go on put your hands up...#

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As part of JLS, JB Gill found himself

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in one of the UK's biggest-ever bands,

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selling over 10-million records worldwide.

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But when they called it a day back in 2013,

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JB took a complete change of direction, becoming a farmer

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and settling into family life on 10 acres of land in Kent.

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I can't think of any other pop star, OK, who travels the world,

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has adoring fans and gives it all up to be a farmer.

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JB LAUGHS

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-What were you thinking?!

-Well, I'm definitely unusual. Um...

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I mean, it was something that just happened

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quite naturally, to be honest.

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A few people mentioned to me that I should do something

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with the 10 acres of land that we do have.

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And as I sort of researched different types of farming,

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what I could do and how I could do it.

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I love food anyway, so for me, kind of joining up all the dots

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of how it's actually grown and cultivated or reared,

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is just an incredible thing for me,

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and something that I'm very passionate about.

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Would you say it's easier to find God on the farm

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-than it is in a packed crowd at Wembley?

-Absolutely.

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I find when I'm outside, especially when I'm working

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with the animals and it's just myself, it's just incredible.

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I can definitely sense the presence of God.

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You know, and you're literally just observing,

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whether it's the beauty of your surroundings,

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or looking at how the animals interact with each other

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or interact with you.

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You were brought up through faith, it was a Pentecostal church, wasn't it?

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-Yes. Yeah.

-And what was that like?

-It was incredible.

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I really enjoyed it. I, obviously, love singing, I love the music,

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and I was always encouraged to play a full part in attending church

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and that being part of the family, especially on my mum's side.

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But your work with JLS, it's fair to say,

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took you away from the church a little bit.

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Was that just because of time constraints and stuff like that?

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Yeah, I mean, I think a little bit of both.

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For me, my beliefs in general were still very, very strong, but,

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you know, it was definitely something that,

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as I grew older, actually, you want something more.

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You know, there's a presence that you miss which you then search for.

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What about getting married,

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-becoming a father - did that bring you closer to God?

-Absolutely.

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For me, I got to a point where I was, like,

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what do I want to do with my life? What do I want to stand for?

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What are the things that I'm passionate about?

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How do I want to live my life?

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What are the sort of things that I'm going to bring my children up believing in?

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And for me, obviously, having the Christian faith at the centre of that, I think, is very important.

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I think it's important for anybody to make up their own mind but,

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as a father and as someone that's responsible for a young person,

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you're just getting that exposure to a lifestyle that you believe in.

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Did you think you have to go to church to be a Christian?

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I don't think you have to go to church in order to believe in God, you know. Of course not.

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And I think, for some people, it's not possible for you to go to church every week,

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so I don't think it's got to be a, "You have to go to church

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"in order to do this", but I do believe it helps.

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And how do you feel, coming somewhere like this today?

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This is just incredible.

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You enter the gates and automatically

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you just get a sense of peace, a sense of tranquillity.

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-You can't help but see God's work.

-And so to You Raise Me Up.

-Yes!

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It's a song I know well! Why is that important to you?

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Why do you like singing that song?

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-Well, firstly, it's brought me out of retirement.

-Good answer!

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And also, for me, it's just such a great song about empowerment

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and, you know, literally lifting you up and, if I was going to

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choose any song, it would definitely be that one to sing.

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# When I am down

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# And, oh, my soul, so weary

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# When troubles come

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# And my heart burdened be

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# Then I am still

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# And wait here in the silence

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# Until you come

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# And sit a while with me

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# You raise me up

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# So I can stand on mountains

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# You raise me up

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# To walk on stormy seas

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# I am strong

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# When I am on your shoulders

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# You raise me up

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# To more than I can be

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# You raise me up

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# So I can stand on mountains

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# You raise me up

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# To walk on stormy seas

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# I am strong

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# I am strong

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# When I am on your shoulders

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# You raise me up

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# To more than I can be

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# You raise me up

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# So I can stand on mountains

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# Stand on mountains

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# You raise me up

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# To walk on stormy seas

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# Stormy seas

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# And I am strong

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# I am strong

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# When I am on your shoulders

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# You raise me up

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# To more than I can be

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# You raise me up

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# To more than I can be. #

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Now, if you love singing, this could be for you.

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Tickets for this year's Big Sing at the Royal Albert Hall go on sale tomorrow.

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The event itself takes place on Sunday, September 10th,

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and it's going to be a wonderful evening, featuring fabulous hymns, songs and carols.

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The phone line and box office open at 9.00am tomorrow morning,

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so, please, don't try calling before then

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because you won't be able to purchase tickets.

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The ticket line number is...

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Details are on our website.

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And we return to Tideswell for our next hymn,

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which echoes this week's theme of creation.

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It takes several months to create the intricate garden designs

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here at the Chatsworth Flower Show.

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Many are based on personal experiences and have

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a strong theme at their heart.

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Designer Neil Sutcliffe was moved to create this award-winning garden

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after a family bereavement. It's called A Time For Everything.

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He's been explaining to Pam how the garden symbolises

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the different stages of grief.

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Well, this is Neil's garden. How does it work?

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Right at the beginning there, you notice that

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a lot of the planting's very dark, quite spiky, uninviting.

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And this is really the sort of the diagnosis stage.

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We then have this water channel that runs through the centre of

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the garden and, as you come to that and have to step over,

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it's highlighting the acute awareness of how time is passing.

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And how people have passed, too. There are names along the sides.

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That's right.

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And that's where the sort of memorial side of things

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crosses over into the theme.

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We then come round, after going there, to these two curved walls,

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and the planting's very vibrant at this point or a lot more interesting,

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and that's really signifying how life never really stops around you.

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So then, as we come to the end of the pathway,

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there's a large black reservoir behind the much more

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muted planting, which is a reflection pool,

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giving reflection or a memory of someone who was there once

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before with, as I say, a much more peaceful planting scheme.

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Neil's work is driven by his strong Christian faith,

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which hasn't always come easily to him.

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I was sort of really struggling with the idea of Christianity and

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what it meant to be a Christian, that, you know what, it's not

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about me making myself right for God because that's what Jesus has done.

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Well, I hope you've enjoyed Chatsworth's beautiful flowers as much as I have.

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Next week, Sean Fletcher will be walking

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the ancient Christian pilgrim route to Mont-Saint-Michel in France,

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and Josie d'Arby will reveal its link

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with St Michael's Mount in Cornwall.

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God's amazing creation has been all around us today, so we're going to

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end with a hymn that celebrates the very heart of the Christian faith.

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And we're back in Tideswell,

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the Cathedral of the Peak, for Thine Be The Glory.

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Aled Jones visits Chatsworth for its first ever flower show, Pam Rhodes discovers more about the estate's royal history, and former JLS star JB Gill talks faith and farming. With hymns from the Cathedral of the Peak, St John's Tideswell.


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