Father's Day Songs of Praise


Father's Day

Claire McCollum chats with Kristyn and Keith Getty. There's music from Matt Redman and great hymn singing from St Patrick's Church in Jordanstown.


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Transcript


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On Songs Of Praise this week, we're celebrating fathers and fatherhood.

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And, as this is my first programme, welcome to my part of the world.

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This is Jordanstown on the shores of Belfast Lough.

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This week, I'll be chatting with hymnwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty.

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There's music from Matt Redman.

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And our choirs will sing some great hymns

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especially for Father's Day.

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Jordanstown is one of several small towns that stretch northwards

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along Belfast Lough.

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In the 1960s, the population swelled

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as Northern Ireland's second university made the town its home.

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Today, Jordanstown is a popular residential area within

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easy commuting distance of Belfast.

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And it's here at St Patrick's Parish Church

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that choirs from Jordanstown and the surrounding areas

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have gathered to sing their songs of praise.

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And this Father's Day,

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we'll begin with that great hymn,

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Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind.

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Keith and Kristyn Getty's hymns are sung by millions of Christians

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in churches all over the world.

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Although they're based in Nashville,

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their roots are firmly in this part of the world.

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Kristyn's father is the pastor of a local church.

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They've just finished their latest tour of North America, accompanied

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this time by a new addition to the family, Charlotte Juliana Getty.

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How has the journey been? How difficult has it been

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juggling life on the road and having the kids with you as well?

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This last tour has been interesting

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because our youngest was only three months old

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when we took her on the tour bus,

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so it was a lot of fun bouncing along all the different roads

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from state to state, trying to feed a baby at 3am,

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it was pretty challenging!

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-He was fast asleep, he loved it.

-Of course.

-He slept like a baby.

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-Well, unfortunately...

-He sleeps like the baby and the baby was awake.

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The baby didn't sleep like a baby!

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We've got two buses. One's called the family bus

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and one's called the fun bus, so we are now on the family bus.

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This is Father's Day, we're celebrating Father's Day.

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How has that changed you, Keith, would you say?

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I think children just broadens and deepens life in a unique way

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that really makes you realise what a gift it is.

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We for many years didn't know if we could have kids, so I think

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-it makes you just so grateful when that opportunity comes.

-Absolutely.

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And your own fathers have been a huge influence in your careers.

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That's right. We're just so incredibly blessed.

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We're both had dads who are strong believers

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and brought us up to understand faith and music and life.

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My dad is a pastor, and so we grew up

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with many people coming to our house for dinner, for example,

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and these people just became the most inspirational influence in my life

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and I know that you were the same. We just had very busy kitchens

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in our house growing up, and busy dining room tables

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and lots of conversation and that's just all fed into our faith

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on a personal level but also in our songwriting

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and our leading and all that, so we are very grateful for that.

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You sit down to write a hymn. Where does it come from?

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I do lean initially in the fact that we are Irish, we write melodies,

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that groups of people sing at a football match,

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in a pub, in a family home.

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Right throughout church history,

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the liturgies and the hymns and the songs of God's people have defined

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how they think about God, and thus how they think about themselves,

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so I think in this 21st century,

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where there are more Christians now in the world

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and the Bible is in more languages than at any point in history,

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I think there is an even bigger need now for a new and fresh canon

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of hymns that Christians around the world can sing,

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that teach us what we understand about God

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and that tell this incredible story of Christ.

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Writing songs, do you have more of an understanding

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of God as the Father?

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I think in some ways, and the sense of God's love is overwhelming

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because those girls are just everything to you.

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You can't imagine you could love somebody so much,

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you can't manage you could think about somebody or talk incessantly

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about somebody as much as you do these beautiful little girls,

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so it brings God's love out in a broad and a deeper,

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and almost, at times,

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it's almost too much at times to think about such things.

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The three best tunes I've written in the last two years,

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my daughter was singing around the house before I decided to use them,

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so she listens to me play the tunes,

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and the ones that I think are good, she doesn't sing,

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you actually know, cos that's the amazing thing about a song.

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A song, as Kristyn says, reaches deep into humanity.

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A three-year-old and a 93-year-old know a great song,

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even though they're not musically educated.

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Your latest one, My Worth, tell me about how that came about.

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It's a very, I think, poignant topic.

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We struggle continually, I struggle continually,

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every day with my worth and how I look, how I don't look,

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what I have, what I don't have,

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all those things that can trouble us so quickly and steal our peace,

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all those ideas and yet continually coming back to Christ

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and what he's done for us and where we're going,

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it's much bigger than how I'm feeling today, what I'm going through today.

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Yes, God speaks through that, he's not far away from us,

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and that's how music can be used to keep reminding us of that

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because we forget so easily.

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# My worth is not in what I own

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# Not in the strength of flesh and bone

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# But in the costly wounds of love

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# At the cross

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# My worth is not in skill or name

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# In win or lose, in pride or shame

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# But in the blood of Christ that flowed

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# At the cross

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# I rejoice in my Redeemer

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# Greatest treasure

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# Wellspring of my soul

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# I will trust in him, no other

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# My soul is satisfied in him alone

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# As summer flowers we fade and die

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# Fame, youth and beauty hurry by

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# But life eternal calls to us

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# At the cross

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# I will not boast in wealth or might

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# In human wisdom's fading light

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# But I will boast in knowing Christ

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# At the cross

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# I rejoice in my Redeemer

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# Greatest treasure

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# Wellspring of my soul

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# I will trust in him, no other

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# My soul is satisfied in him alone

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# Two wonders here that I confess

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# My worth and my unworthiness

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# My value fixed, my ransom paid

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# At the cross

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# I rejoice in my Redeemer

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# Greatest treasure

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# Wellspring of my soul

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# I will trust in him, no other

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# My soul is satisfied in him alone

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# My soul is satisfied in him alone. #

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Well, it's a bit of a hike to get here,

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but the view is certainly worth it.

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This is Knockagh monument,

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and from up here, you get a really good idea

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of just how Jordanstown fits in

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to the rest of the communities that stretch up the lough to Belfast.

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This monument was erected to remember the young men

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who lost their lives in two world wars, and today, on Father's Day,

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we remember those who never had the opportunity to become a father,

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and we also remember those who have lost loved ones this year

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and who today will have an empty seat in their home.

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This week across the country,

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schoolchildren have been busy secretly making cards and presents

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to give to their dads.

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This is a great picture.

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Tell me about your daddy with his lovely spiky hair here.

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He plays with me a lot

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and takes us swimming.

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And what's your favourite thing about your daddy?

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Because he gives me snuggles and kisses and hugs.

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I love Daddy because he's very funny

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-and he plays tickle monsters.

-Oh!

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So he chases us and then when he gets me and Katie, he tickles us.

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I like the look of this picture.

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Now, tell me, who's in this picture?

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That's me helping my dad fix my bike,

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and it had a skiddy flat, so we had to change a new wheel.

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-I also like playing pool.

-Ooh.

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-Are you good?

-Yeah.

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Who's better, you or your daddy?

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Both.

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What's he like, your dad?

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He kisses me and gives me snuggles and gives me a story at bedtime

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and I like that, that's why he's the best daddy in the world.

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As we're here at school, it's a good chance for us to announce

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details of our next School Choir of the Year competition.

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We're looking for the best junior and senior school choirs

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to enter from right across the UK,

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and if you think your school choir has what it takes,

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then we would love to hear from you.

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You'll find all the details you will need to apply on our website...

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And you can even check out the standard your choir should aim for

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by watching clips of all of last year's finalists.

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Daddy!

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When adult relationships end in separation or divorce,

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sometimes the children are not able to see their mum or dad

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because they no longer live in the family home. In these circumstances,

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it's places like this that can be a real lifeline,

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helping to maintain those important family ties.

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A contact centre is basically where

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parents who no longer live with their children can come and have contact

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and develop relationships with them.

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How important is it to keep those lines of communication open?

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Without contact centres

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there would be a lot of children simply not having the contact,

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because the contact here is a result of relationship breakdowns.

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How important is it to have a neutral environment for these families?

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The main reason they're here is because they haven't been able

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to come to an accommodation of where to meet.

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It's great because it gives dads a chance to see their kids.

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We're all here for obvious reasons.

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She loves it down here.

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She's met loads of friends. It's basically a nursery school to her.

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-Only with daddy in tow.

-Only with daddy, yeah!

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How important is it for you to keep up the contact with Emily?

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It's very important, because I was very close with Emily,

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you know, from the day she was born. I've always been close to her.

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'I look forward to Saturdays so much,

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'Everybody looks forward to the weekend,

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'but I look forward to Saturdays a lot more because I know that'

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on a Friday night, I get to see the child in the morning.

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'At Mothers' Union one night, someone asked for more volunteers,

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'and I thought I could do this.

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'A lot of these young fathers who are coming in,'

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they have no experience with their children.

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I, as a grandparent, have had the experience of my own children

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and my grandchildren.

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We may have very young fathers who have never lived with the child

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and may need help or assistance with changing nappies or feeding,

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or anything like that. On many occasions,

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the fathers are very nervous, especially on the first visit.

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Once I tell her, "Lunchtime," she puts on her coat,

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and she knows straightaway that it's picnic time, to go outside

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and we have our picnic outside.

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-No matter what the weather?

-No matter what the weather.

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-We've got ham and cheese!

-We've got ham and cheese!

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MELANIE: Because I'm here every week,

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I can see the development of the relationships,

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and I've yet to see a child who doesn't want to have contact with

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their other parent, and I suppose that's the most important bit,

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the fact that the child deserves to have a relationship

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with both parents in spite of their relationship breakdown.

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And your faith, what role does that play

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in helping you perform your duties as a volunteer here?

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My faith is that the Lord is always here,

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kind of sitting on my shoulder, and watching out for me,

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and I would like to think that because I have that faith,

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maybe I could be a help to them in some way.

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# I have heard so many songs

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# Listened to a thousand tongues

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# But there is one that sounds above them all

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# The Father's song, the Father's love

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# You sung it over me, and for eternity

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# It's written on my heart

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# Heaven's perfect melody

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# The Creator's symphony

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# You are singing over me

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# The Father's song

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# Heaven's perfect mystery

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# The king of love has sent for me

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# And now you're singing over me

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# The Father's song

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# I have heard so many songs

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# Listened to a thousand tongues

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# But there is one that sounds above them all

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# The Father's song, the Father's love

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# You sung it over me, and for eternity

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# It's written on my heart

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# Heaven's perfect melody

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# The Creator's symphony

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# You are singing over me

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# The Father's song

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# Heaven's perfect mystery

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# The king of love has sent for me

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# And now you're singing over me

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# The Father's song

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# The Father's song, the Father's love

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# You sung it over me, and for eternity

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# It's written on my heart

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# It's written on my heart. #

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Every year, thousands of students come from near and far

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to study here at the University of Ulster.

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For many of them, it's their first taste of independence.

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I'm here to meet to people

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who are on hand to make sure that transition is as smooth as possible.

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'I just find life here among students so rewarding. They keep me so young.'

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'I love chaplaincy because

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'it's not confined to a specific worshipping community.

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'For me, the church doesn't just stay within the walls

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'of church buildings. It's very much out here in the real world.'

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We stand back

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and give them their space.

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We observe, we see what's going on,

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but we don't intrude.

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We let them get on, and when they're ready to raise the question,

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whatever it is that they need to raise,

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we're there as a sort of presence.

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Presence is a very important word for me,

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so that whenever they are in need, we're ready to respond.

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-Morning.

-Morning.

-How are you?

-Aye, not too bad.

-Good to see you.

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Every week I come here for this lunch,

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and they always ask me how I'm doing and how my coursework is going.

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The chaplains are kind of like our parents when we're over here

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because a lot of us sometimes have hard times

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when we're studying abroad this far away from home,

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and they're the first people that we'll approach or go to.

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'God makes his presence felt in the physical presence of Jesus Christ

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'and through the spirit of Christ. We were being'

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offered the opportunity as chaplains to be physically present

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in the university, physically

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listening, loving,

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drawing people not by clever gimmicks but by love.

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'Terry's like this really cute grandpa figure, you know, like,'

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always asking how you are, if you need anything,

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and trying to feed you more food, you know.

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Help yourself to whatever you see.

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'It's really nice to know we have a kind of support system away from home.'

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'Cheryl and Terry, they're very giving and loving people.

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'I don't think anybody could really replace one's parents,

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'but they do a lot of really important and necessary work'

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for the students here.

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It can be really lonely, and they do a great job.

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But one of the moment I'll always treasure is helping a young man

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to become a better Muslim,

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and that, for a Christian, is a very worthwhile thing to be able to say,

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and I know he appreciated it.

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How does that make you feel?

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It makes me feel warm inside,

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as if the spirit is saying, "Yes, you did well."

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There are all those Bible stories

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of Jesus telling his disciples to come and be fishers of men,

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and for me, being here in the university gives us opportunities

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to bring good news, to be drawn into God's work

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of bringing healing and wholeness to people.

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'God the Father, bless all fathers today with wisdom,

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'with patience, with courage,

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'and above all, with love for their children.'

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'Father God, bless all children today with openness to learn

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'and above all, with love for their fathers.'

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'Father God, bless all who are fatherless today.'

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'Surround them with godly men and women to teach, affirm them,

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'and above all, to love with the love of a father.'

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The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

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be with each of you and with all whom you love this day and always.

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-ALL:

-Amen.

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And that's it from our Father's Day Songs Of Praise.

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For our final hymn, our choirs have chosen that great Fanny Crosby hymn

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To God Be The Glory. Happy Father's Day.

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Next week, Diane and David are off on their summer holidays

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as they visit Butlin's

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and discover how chaplains played an important role at the resorts.

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Diane also learns more about the nation's favourite hymn

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and there's music from across the country to lift your spirits

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come rain or shine.

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On Father's Day, Claire McCollum chats with Kristyn and Keith Getty. There's music from Matt Redman and great hymn singing from St Patrick's Church in Jordanstown.


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