Greenwich Songs of Praise


Greenwich

Aled Jones is in Greenwich where he discovers one of the Archbishop of Canterbury's personal heroes and introduces hymns from the Old Royal Naval College Chapel.


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Transcript


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Hello. This is a community that's having a very busy year,

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becoming a Royal Borough during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations

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and some Olympic events have been held here.

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But you know, it's always busy with tourists for its maritime history

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and for having given its name to the Greenwich Meridian.

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But what is Greenwich in London really like?

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Time for Songs of Praise to find out.

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Coming up, the Archbishop of Canterbury

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reveals one of his personal heroes.

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A son finds a new way to phone home.

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And glorious hymns sung at the Old Royal Naval Chapel.

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Greenwich. Busy and full of life.

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Home to the famous Cutty Sark...

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..and the Royal Observatory.

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The Greenwich Meridian line is the centre of world time.

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Without it, international travel would be in turmoil

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and calling friends in far away places at the right time would be nigh on impossible.

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Every place on Earth is measured by its distance East or West from it,

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making Greenwich the starting point of each new day.

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Our first hymn, rather appropriately,

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is Morning Has Broken, sung by the local community here,

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from the glorious surroundings of the Old Royal Naval Chapel.

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"A false balance is abomination to the Lord

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"but a just weight is his delight," which is from the Book of Proverbs.

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That is the sign that welcomes you here to Greenwich Market.

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Let's go and see if we can find some delights.

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-How's business? Good?

-Good.

-I see you've got my daughter's name.

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Can I get this? It's for me, really.

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'I'm looking for Barbara Ray's stall. I've got a surprise for her.'

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-It's Barbara, isn't it?

-Oh!

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They said I'd find you just here and they were right. How are you?

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-Fine, thanks.

-Very nice to see you. So what time did you set up this stall this morning?

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-You've been here for quite a while, have you?

-We have to get here about eight o'clock.

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That manages to give us a good position.

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-Is it part of a community, would you say?

-It is.

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I mean, people look out for each other here.

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And certainly, there is a camaraderie.

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-And sort of a touch of heaven, I suppose, really.

-Really?

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Yes, yes. I think it's changed over the years,

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but I do think that to have the arts and crafts,

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for people to be making things in the week

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and then coming here and having the opportunity to sell it, is wonderful.

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Because I think we are meant to be creative, aren't we?

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Yeah, absolutely. And this isn't your stuff, is it?

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No, unfortunately not. And it is really beautiful, isn't it?

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Yeah, gorgeous.

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But it is my daughter-in-law.

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She did a textiles degree

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and worked so hard, and then her and my son have gone off

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to run a craft project in Iringa, Tanzania.

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Right. Just like that?

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It must be strange for you, selling your daughter-in-law's wares

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while she's out in Africa.

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They didn't ask me to do it, I have to say that.

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I don't think they expected me to do it,

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but it sort of made them feel closer,

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cos they used to run the stall here,

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and when they first went, it was a big hole in my life.

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-It brought them closer to me.

-Shall we try and catch up with them?

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-Really?

-Yeah, why not? The wonders of modern technology, and all that.

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-That would be good.

-OK.

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-So, Barbara, look who I found!

-Oh!

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So they're in Africa, we're in Greenwich, selling your gear, Katy.

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So, guys, how's it going out there in Africa?

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Yeah, it's really good. Yeah.

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There are lots of challenges that we're facing every day,

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but we're really enjoying working with the guys

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that we work with, the disabled guys we work with.

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So take us through a normal day,

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if there is such a thing.

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There really is no such thing.

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We are doing all sorts of things, from fixing toilets,

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to distributing work, to teaching new skills to our disabled staff.

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So it really does change every day.

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Right. The line was, Ben, you were supposed to say,

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"And I miss you too, Mum."

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THEY LAUGH

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-Yeah. Lots of love, Mum.

-Thank you.

-Bye-bye.

-See you, guys.

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Nice to meet you and nice to talk to you.

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Nice to see you too.

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See you again.

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It must make you so proud,

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knowing your son and daughter-in-law are doing such good there.

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I am proud of them both. Yes, yes.

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They are certainly doing what they want to do

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and they feel God is calling them to do.

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The parish church of St Alfege stands in the centre of Greenwich.

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It's dedicated to the 29th Archbishop of Canterbury.

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In 1012, Alfege was martyred by Vikings close to the site

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of the church, and now, a millennium later,

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he continues to be remembered.

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Well, we wanted to make our 1,000th year

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celebration of his death

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into a celebration as much of his life

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and also, the connections between Scandinavia and this country

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and how enemies can eventually become friends.

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And he, in his own life, epitomised the spirit of reconciliation.

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And so we use that, really, as our theme.

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Pilgrims gathered close to Southwark Cathedral

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to begin their journey to Greenwich.

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APPLAUSE

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Many travelled by boat and were joined by Dr Rowan Williams,

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the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

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During the voyage, he explained why Alfege is still relevant today.

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It's not often that you get to celebrate

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the 1,000th anniversary of an event and, in this case,

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an event that we know quite a bit about from contemporary records.

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So we're celebrating one of the great watershed moments

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of the 11th Century,

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when the Vikings were overrunning the South of England,

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great tension and stress with the local people,

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with the local kingdoms,

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and St Alfege, the Archbishop of Canterbury,

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is caught up in the middle of this.

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Taken prisoner by the Vikings and held hostage, held to ransom.

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And the inspiring thing about Alfege is that in a society

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where everybody's value is calculated -

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and some people's lives were obviously more valuable than others -

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he just refused to play that game.

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He said, "I'm not going to be ransomed."

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They were asking some massive sum to ransom. Because, he said,

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"The burden is going to be carried by the poorest people.

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"I'm not having that."

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All through his ministry, he served the poorest of his own people.

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He sold church property to feed the poor and the hungry

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and he died as he lived, really.

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'The most special guest that we had for the celebration

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'was the Archbishop of Canterbury himself.

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'When he got to the church, he spent about half an hour outside'

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the church and then we had the service itself,

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which had a lot of visitors from Scandinavia,

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as well as this country.

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..Give you the joy of his kingdom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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CONGREGATION: Amen.

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# Living in the love of God

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# We are living in the love of God

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# We are living in the love of God... #

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Now you, madam.

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Come on. Pop it on there.

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The Living History Organisation set up an encampment on the green

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behind the church, to give a flavour of the way we lived 1,000 years ago.

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When you're ready, you nod your head and we make a big noise.

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It's always an inspiration to look at your great predecessors

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and there are some amazing characters among them.

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Alfege is one of the most inspiring to me

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and I think it's marvellous that today,

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we are not only celebrating his memory,

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we've got people here from the churches in Denmark

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and Sweden and Norway - the Viking countries -

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not just to say sorry, but to remind us

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that we are part of the same Christian family today as well.

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Elizabeth I was born in Greenwich, the now Royal Borough.

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Other famous Greenwich residents have included Dr Johnson,

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compiler of the first English dictionary

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and great church music composer Thomas Tallis.

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Thomas Tallis, the father of English church music,

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lived in Greenwich for the last years of his life,

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until his death in 1585.

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He's commemorated here in St Alfege's church.

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We're going to hear one of his best-loved anthems now.

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This takes me back to being a chorister.

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If Ye Love Me, sung by the Old Royal Naval Chapel Choir.

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# If ye love me

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# Keep my commandments

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# And I will pray

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# The Father

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# And I will pray

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# The Father

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# And he shall give you

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# Another comforter

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# That he may bide with you

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# That he may bide with you

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# That he may bide with you

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# Forever

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# Ev'n the spirit of truth

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# Ev'n the spirit of truth

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# Ev'n the spirit of truth

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# Ev'n the spirit...

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# Of truth

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# That he may bide with you

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# That he may bide with you

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# That he may bide with you

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# Forever

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# Ev'n the spirit of truth

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# Ev'n the spirit of truth

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# Ev'n the spirit of truth

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# Ev'n the spirit of...

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# Truth. #

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One of the regeneration projects under way in Greenwich

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is in Kidbrooke,

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on an estate typical of those built in the 1950s and '60s.

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Residents are now moving into new homes

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and the Rev Margaret Cave has been helping them through the transition.

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-Hello, Margaret.

-Really nice to see you. How are you doing?

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William's old house has been knocked down. Now he has a new one in Kidbrooke Village.

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How are things going here? Are you feeling settled now?

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-Well, everything seems to be getting into shape.

-Yeah.

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-And I think we've settled in well since I've been here.

-Yeah.

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We enjoy being with St James' as well.

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Yeah, and we hope there will be a new

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Christian community within Kidbrooke Village.

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Hopefully, hopefully, yes.

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-Hopefully, you'll be able to be part of that as well.

-Yes, I agree.

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Margaret is also chaplain of the youth club in Kidbrooke

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that's about to get a new home.

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I think faith has been

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really important to people here.

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There's been a real sense of continuity, of what's been going on,

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especially with all these Christian organisations that had a role here.

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We joined together, and it's together,

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as a group of Christian organisations in partnership,

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that we've been able to take on this project

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and set up this new youth and community centre. And we really hope

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that this will not just be a place of welcome and a place of hospitality

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and a place of encounter, but a place where something might emerge

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for the future that will really be at the heart of this new community.

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Alexander Boyd is a youth worker here

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and is also studying for his degree in Youth Ministry and Theology.

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The drop-in centre that we're in now is going to be knocked down

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in probably September, October.

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By then, we'll be moved in to our new premises, the one space.

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So all of our work is going to transfer there,

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which is going to make life a lot easier for us

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and it's going to be...

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it's just going to be a great way we can do our youth work

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and really improve the services that we offer the young people.

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'A lot of the young people lived on the estate.

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'They've been moved out over the years

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'and now, a lot of them are starting to come back,

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'so it's kind of full-circle for a lot of them.'

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For everyone, faith has been an important part of this move.

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Throughout this period of time,

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there've been a lot of changes and I think

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for a lot of the residents and ex-residents, that's been the case,

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that faith has really grounded them

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and just kind of kept them together.

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I think there's a really exciting future.

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There's a real sense of new hope, new life, as this new community emerges.

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And, of course, that really does chime with the Christian story,

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which is all about new life, new hope, resurrection.

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There's that sort of feel about being here at the moment, which is really exciting. Yeah.

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JAZZ MUSIC

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Local residents enjoy an evening of jazz music by the Sam James Trio.

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But by day, 21-year-old Sam is a diligent music student

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at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

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here in Greenwich.

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It's housed in Sir Christopher Wren's

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glorious King Charles Court at the Old Royal Naval College,

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which is filled with students.

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Musically talented ones, not the Naval variety.

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That was a beautiful standard called In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning...

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-It can be quite a lonely existence, being a pianist, can't it?

-'Yeah.'

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You know, it's part of the commitment, isn't it?

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I wouldn't have probably got in unless I was dedicated to practising.

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So your Christianity comes through in your music?

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Yes...

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I mean, yes, it does. I guess mainly because of the motive I have,

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I mean, to glorify God.

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It's a blessing to be able to play this amazing art form

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and I love playing jazz.

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How does that sort of correspond with the work you're doing here?

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You know, some people think that jazz is the Devil's work.

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I don't agree with them, I have to say. What's your view of all that?

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Inevitably, the culture we're in, there's going to be pressures

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and temptations of being a student and a Christian.

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I think I got looked at quite severely and strangely

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when I had my first pint in the student bar,

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you know, being a singing Christian at college.

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'It's not as difficult as I thought it would be when I moved here,

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'because I've got such a great church,

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'and by the grace of God, I'm still here fighting, I suppose.'

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You say fighting, is it tricky, then? Is it that tricky?

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Yeah, it's difficult because some of my best friends are non-Christians,

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so a lot of the time, I'll perhaps deliberately not do certain things

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or go certain places with them

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because of what I think, what I believe.

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The hymn we're going to hear next is All People That on Earth Do Dwell.

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-Do you know that one?

-Yeah.

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So if you were going to put the Sam jazz stamp on it,

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what would it sound like?

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-Sorry to throw this at you like this.

-Fine. Well, erm...

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Loving God, thank you for our friends and neighbours.

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Help us to build strong communities wherever we live.

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And may the steadfast courage of St Alfege inspire our actions

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and deepen our faith.

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Amen.

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One of the world's fastest clippers, the Cutty Sark here,

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was given a new lease of life this year.

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It's great to know that this iconic ship

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can now voyage towards a certain future.

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Unfortunately, our time here in Greenwich has come to an end.

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We'll leave you with a hymn - The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended.

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Until next time, goodbye.

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Next week, Granny Pam will be celebrating grandparents.

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She meets the granddaughter of "Call the Midwife" author

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Jennifer Worth, who's been inspired by her grandmother's example,

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and meets other grannies and granddads with stories to tell.

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The hymn singing comes from Coventry Cathedral,

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and there's a new version of The Lord Is My Shepherd

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by Peter Howarth, of The Hollies.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:33:430:33:47

Aled Jones spends time in London's newest Royal Borough, discovers one of the Archbishop of Canterbury's personal heroes, samples the student jazz scene and introduces glorious hymns from the Old Royal Naval College Chapel.


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