Enterprising Wakefield Songs of Praise


Enterprising Wakefield

Bill Turnbull is in Wakefield. He visits the Hepworth Wakefield and enjoys a tour of the newly refurbished cathedral, where there is traditional hymn singing.


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Transcript


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Let me give you some clues as to where we are this week.

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We're in one of the world's leading areas for exhibiting sculpture.

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You can find cutting edge architecture that is transforming the city.

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It's world famous for producing this, forced rhubarb.

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The cathedral is reopening after a thoroughly modern makeover.

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You might be surprised to learn we are in West Yorkshire.

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Welcome to Wakefield.

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In this week's Songs Of Praise, I'll be finding out

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how the enterprising people of Wakefield are transforming their city.

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I'll be visiting the Hepworth Wakefield

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to learn how faith inspired the city's most famous daughter.

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We step inside the newly transformed cathedral.

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In the week we celebrate St George's Day,

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our congregation have dressed especially for the occasion.

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Like many former coalmining areas,

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Wakefield has been down on its luck in recent years.

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But all that is changing.

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Thanks to an enterprising spirit,

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the city is enjoying a period of regeneration

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and there's a real positive feeling as you talk to people here.

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Stepping up onto centre stage is Wakefield Cathedral.

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After a year-long renovation project,

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it's ready to reveal its new look nave.

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In January last year, the congregation sat in the pews for the last time.

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After the service, the nave was closed

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and the main doors were locked.

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15 months later, the first stage of work is complete.

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I don't know about you but I can't wait to see inside.

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We've been wondering in recent weeks whether the darkness would ever end

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but with luck, and God's blessing, the light will come.

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Three, two, one...

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ALL: Ah!

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What did you think when they first said,

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we're going to renovate the church and take out the pews?

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I was devastated.

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What do you think of it now?

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I think it's wonderful. I really do.

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There was a lot of people that didn't like the pews going

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but I'm sure they will have all come to terms with it.

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It's wonderful to be here at the start of a new era

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but to many people of course, tradition is just as important.

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Last Tuesday was St George's Day and we begin with a hymn

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written especially for England's patron saint.

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To accompany us, we have members of the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Brass Band,

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recently crowned Yorkshire champions.

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The man with the vision and determination

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to oversee the £3 million project to create a 21st-century nave is the Dean.

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I've been amazed and delighted how so many different people have come together in the project.

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People from all over the city who hadn't been in here before

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have rallied round to help it happen.

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Why was it necessary?

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A lot of the infrastructure was failing so one motivation

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was to actually safeguard the building for the future.

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The second is, this cathedral belongs to the whole community

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and we wanted to make a space where we could use it for the whole community

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and where they'd all be welcome.

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The pews very important to some people.

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Ingrained with history and for some people,

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it's just not a proper cathedral if there aren't pews there?

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I quite liked them but we needed flexibility

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and you cannot have flexibility with pews, so they had to go.

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When you undertake a project like this,

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you have to be aware of what you're leaving behind as well.

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How did you set about protecting that?

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I thought, 2012 is a leap year, we'll have a project, 366 days,

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and we'll try and get a different photographer to come in each day and take a photo.

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And we did that and we created a website

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and I think it's been a marvellous way of bringing the whole community into the project.

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Local amateur photographer Mick Wilson

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had never been inside the cathedral before volunteering.

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I took two photos, I came in twice

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and the one I did on 16 December, I asked if I could dedicate that

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to the memory of my great niece who sadly died at birth in October.

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The cathedral were glad to do that and they said prayers for her,

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for Olivia May.

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It was nice. The whole family found it a loving, caring thing to do.

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The idea of doing something on January 6th, on Epiphany,

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when we celebrate the visit of the Magi.

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I just thought, if I could find that phrase, the three wise men.

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When I found these guys out here laying the stone,

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I just thought it would be great fun.

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It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

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I loved the fact that you could come and spend as long as you wanted

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just wandering around and taking photographs.

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There was a window where people could peer in.

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I noticed that there was a woman there.

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I thought, "Wow, let's take a photograph of this."

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I posted it up on the 366 Days website which said, "Peering In!"

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This, you see, gives us a tremendous documentary,

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not only on how the nave is changing,

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but how the cathedral remained very much alive,

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right through the time the work was going on.

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This area, closer to the high altar,

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will be the next part of the cathedral to get a makeover

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and while building work was going on down there in the nave,

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for services, everybody had to squeeze in here.

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Among those working hardest to keep things running smoothly are the choir.

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# My soul doth magnify the Lord... #

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It kind of added percussion, if you like,

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with the hammers and the sawing and whatever,

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so when we've been practising for Evensongs, it has been quite noisy.

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I remember quite recently

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that there was so much dust in the cathedral

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that we couldn't wear our surplices, the white robes that we wear,

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because all the dust would just gather on the surplices

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and essentially make them black.

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We weren't allowed the heating on so it was absolutely freezing.

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You could actually see your breath coming out of your mouth

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and that was really quite freaky sometimes.

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But it didn't really affect our singing at all.

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It still sounded pretty good.

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That characteristic sound of young voices singing choral music

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is of course a wonderful heritage of our country

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and it's celebrated every year when young people

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sing for the title of BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister Of The Year.

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If you're a chorister or know someone who is,

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you can find full details of the competition on the Songs Of Praise website

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and just click on Radio 2 Young Choristers Of The Year 2013.

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I was chosen to be a finalist in 2011.

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That presented me with a brilliant opportunity

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to go and sing in St Martin in the Fields in London.

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I would recommend entering for anybody,

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because it was definitely a fantastic experience which I would love to do again.

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# Lord, I have loved the habitation

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# The habitation of thy house

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# The place where thy glory dwells

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# The place where thy glory dwells

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# The habitation of thy house

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# The place where the Lord dwells

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# The place where the Lord dwelleth

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# Bless us O Lord who tarry in this cathedral

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# Grant that what we sing with our lips, we may believe in our hearts

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# And what we believe in our hearts

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# Show forth in our lives

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# Through Jesus Christ, our Lord

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# Lord, I love thy habitation

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# The habitation of thy house

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# The place where they glory dwells

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# The place where thy glory dwells

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# I love the habitation

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# The habitation of thy house

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# The place where thy glory dwells

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# The place where thy glory dwells. #

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Just down from the cathedral by the River Calder

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is a stunning new art gallery, the Hepworth Wakefield.

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The gallery has been an extraordinary success story,

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drawing visitors from all of the world, generating millions of pounds for the local economy

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and putting Wakefield on the map.

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The Hepworth Gallery takes its name from Dame Barbara Hepworth.

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Born in Wakefield in 1903, she went on to become

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one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

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Much of her work has a spiritual element.

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I really think all good works are an act of praise

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and they are essentially religious throughout the history of man,

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from the cave drawings.

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One of the gallery's biggest supporters has been Stephen Platten,

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the Bishop of Wakefield.

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One of the things I'd say about regeneration here in Wakefield

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is that we desperately needed it.

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The coal industry, the woollen industry had died

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and so economic and social regeneration have been crucial.

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But those on their own aren't sufficient.

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There is a sense that you need spiritual regeneration.

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In a purely religious way, in the background of Christianity,

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but it can also mean more than that in a way that...

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OK, it's always important to have enough money in your pay packet

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but there's a stage beyond that where somehow

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our hearts need to be taken and lifted up.

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If you look at a piece like the Crucifixion we have here though,

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you might not identify it as anything to do with the Crucifixion.

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You might not although of course, if you look at it,

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there's an obvious cruciform structure to it

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and one of the things she herself said about it

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was that she wanted something

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that somehow represented what crucifixion was,

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but also something that you could almost walk into.

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But I very much wanted to make a crucifixion which enabled one

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to recognise the figure of Christ on the cross

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and the rudimentary forms.

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And to bring one, as it were, to one's knees.

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So in a way, this captures, in a modern context,

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that sense of Christ's suffering

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happening through very ordinary objects.

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Well, I think looking at the view behind me now,

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where you actually see the cathedral framed by the crucifixion

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by Hepworth, is really rather a marvellous characterisation

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of what that might be about.

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She was born here in Wakefield and baptised in the cathedral.

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-Did she draw her inspiration for her work from here?

-Unquestionably.

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In two rather different ways.

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First of all because of the Yorkshire landscape.

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Even around here where people, I suppose,

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think much more of mills and mines,

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actually, of course, there's marvellous countryside

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outcrops of rock and so all of that will have helped her

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in her artistic inspiration.

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Created in Yorkshire is a cooperative

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set up by Lynne Thompson.

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Members work at home to produce a range of crafts

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and then they share duties to ensure the shop is staffed and organised.

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At a time when many high streets are struggling,

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Lynne is confident that an enterprising spirit

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and plenty of hard graft can bring colour and inspiration to the city.

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I just love it. I just love the shop.

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I love the fact that we're sort of bringing something

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that's unique to Wakefield.

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I think that Wakefield's sending out a message that we're no longer going to be a town that's dying.

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That's what we are, we're a community and to stand in the background,

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watching the different members, they're all helping each other.

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Catherine Knowles is one of the founder members

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of Created in Yorkshire.

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I take a copy of a child's drawing.

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It could be a family portrait or their favourite place or a pet,

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anything, you know, the wonderful pieces of artwork that children do.

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And parents give them to me and I translate them directly onto fabric

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so you end up with an embroidered version.

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Community, for me, is about having things in common with people.

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Things that bring you together and things that you can share.

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So it doesn't have to be the community of people who live on your street.

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Many of us don't know our neighbours any more and certainly,

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in our house, we haven't lived in our town for very long

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so we don't have a very tight local community.

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The three things that keep us are our school and church

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and Created in Yorkshire.

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Those are the parts of my life where I feel part of a bigger group.

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I think Wakefield is a wonderful place. It's got lots of promise.

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There's lots of regeneration in the city

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and I think Wakefield is definitely back on the map.

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Replacing the floor of the cathedral

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provided an opportunity to install a new spiritual tool, a labyrinth.

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A labyrinth's a sacred path.

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They've been used by different religions,

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different cultures over many centuries.

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I hope that this will be another tool in which people can feel welcome

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and they can encounter the divine.

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It can be used by people who have a Christian faith

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or another faith or no faith at all.

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It's absolutely gorgeous!

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How lovely that the community are going to have such an instrument.

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I'm open to the process and, yeah, we'll see what happens.

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Hoping it's going to be peaceful.

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A bit of peace, yeah.

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The journey into the centre is about releasing the things

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that are dragging you down.

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And then when you reach the centre of the labyrinth,

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it's about listening to the divine.

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And then the journey out of the labyrinth is about returning,

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returning to our everyday lives.

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That was amazing.

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Peaceful, beautiful, joyful.

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It's made me smile. Erm, surprisingly touching.

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It made me think about my life really, basically.

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That you're following a path and that's how I felt

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when I walked in the labyrinth, yeah.

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It's like a journey into the labyrinth and in a sense,

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taking God with you.

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Reaching the centre and then bringing him with you out

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so in a sense, God's around you all the time,

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on all the journeys throughout your life.

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Singing for us now from the centre of the labyrinth

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we have Jonathan Viera.

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I looked down and there was this labyrinth

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and actually this song is I Want Jesus To Walk With Me,

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incredibly appropriately.

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A story about our humanity really, in our sorrows, in our joys,

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in our trials, he walks with us.

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That is the kind of mystical and wonderful belief

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that we as Christians have and I love the song.

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It's simple and it's a great song

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and I'm playing with my fantastic son so there we go.

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# I want Jesus to walk with me

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# I want Jesus to walk with me

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# All along my pilgrim journey

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# I want Jesus to walk with me

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# On my trials, oh Lord, walk with me

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# On my trials, oh Lord, walk with me

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# When the shades when the shades have fallen

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# I want Jesus to walk with me

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# In my sorrows walk with me

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# In my sorrows, oh Lord walk with me

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# When my heart

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# When my heart is aching

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# I want Jesus right there to walk with me

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# In my joys, oh Lord, walk with me

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# Oh in my joys, oh Lord walk with me

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# When my life is filled with laughter

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# I want Jesus to walk with me

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# In my trials, oh Lord walk with me

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# In my sorrows walk with me

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# In my joys walk with me

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# I want Jesus to walk with...

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# Me. #

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'Heavenly father, in our ever-changing world,

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'give us the vision to embrace change

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'and welcome the opportunities it brings.'

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'Help us to make the most of our creativity

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'and to use of God-given talents to bring joy to others.'

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'Bless the enterprising work that we do in your name

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'and may we feel your love guiding us, day by day.'

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May Almighty God, who has given us the desire

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and hope to recreate this cathedral

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and to transform our city

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grant us grace also to renew our lives in faith and love

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and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father,

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the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always.

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CONGREGATION: Amen.

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Before we leave Wakefield Cathedral,

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you may be wondering what they did with all the pews.

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They were turned to crosses like this one

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by inmates at Wakefield Prison

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and were then handed out to the congregations of local churches.

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It's a lovely reminder of our trip here

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and what better way to finish than a hymn written by this gentleman,

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William Walsham How, the first Bishop of Wakefield

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when this ancient All Saints Church

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was granted cathedral status in 1888.

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Next week, David meets actress Danniella Westbrook,

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adventurer Bear Grylls

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and Lord Taylor of Warwick to discover how they deal

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with fame and faith in the public eye

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and to hear the hymns that inspire them.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Bill Turnbull is in the city that's on the up. He visits the striking new art gallery, the Hepworth Wakefield; and enjoys a tour of the newly refurbished cathedral, where there is traditional hymn singing and performances from the cathedral choir and Jonathan Veira.


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