Guernsey Songs of Praise


Guernsey

Sally Magnusson visits Guernsey as its people approach the anniversary of the liberation of the island from German occupation in May 1945.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Guernsey. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Situated just 30 miles off the coast of France,

0:00:030:00:06

the Channel Islands are the most southerly part of the British Isles.

0:00:060:00:10

Guernsey is the second largest, and with its stunning beaches and

0:00:100:00:13

cliff walks, it's a popular tourist destination.

0:00:130:00:16

Welcome to Songs Of Praise. This is St Peter Port,

0:00:170:00:21

the picturesque capital of Guernsey.

0:00:210:00:24

It's a place where visitors come and enjoy the freedom of

0:00:240:00:27

the great outdoors.

0:00:270:00:30

For older residents, that freedom is still precious.

0:00:300:00:33

They can remember a time when the island was under Nazi

0:00:330:00:36

occupation, and on the 9th May, the whole community will be

0:00:360:00:40

celebrating, as it does every year, Liberation Day.

0:00:400:00:45

I'll be hearing from the woman, who, as a young girl,

0:00:450:00:48

lived through those difficult war years.

0:00:480:00:51

There was maggots, of course, in this bread,

0:00:510:00:54

but we had to eat or go without.

0:00:540:00:56

The food has improved a lot since then, thankfully,

0:00:560:00:59

as I get a taste of Guernsey ice cream.

0:00:590:01:02

And I go inside the prison for a cookery lesson with

0:01:020:01:06

the inmates led by a local vicar.

0:01:060:01:08

Prisoners are often forgotten people.

0:01:080:01:10

Naturally, because they're hidden from society.

0:01:100:01:13

And I'm on the trail of the first Catholic missionaries to Britain.

0:01:130:01:17

We've got some great music for you from around the country.

0:01:260:01:29

We begin with a traditional hymn that's a declaration of praise.

0:01:290:01:33

Here, it's been given a modern arrangement

0:01:330:01:35

and it's performed by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

0:01:350:01:38

Along Guernsey's coastline, the remnants of German occupation during

0:03:370:03:41

the Second World War are a lasting reminder of those challenging times.

0:03:410:03:46

In 1940, with the war going well for Germany,

0:03:460:03:50

islanders became increasingly nervous about being invaded

0:03:500:03:54

and 5,000 children were evacuated.

0:03:540:03:57

But sending your children away

0:03:570:04:00

was a very difficult decision for parents.

0:04:000:04:03

Molly Bihet was only eight years old when her mother brought her and

0:04:040:04:08

her younger sister down to the harbour to catch one of

0:04:080:04:11

the boats taking children to the mainland.

0:04:110:04:14

We came down here, and to see the people queueing up,

0:04:140:04:18

I think it put my mother off straightaway because she

0:04:180:04:20

didn't want to part with us anyway.

0:04:200:04:22

But she thought that she was going to be able to go with you, did she?

0:04:220:04:26

Yes, she did. She thought she was going to be

0:04:260:04:30

a carer and go and look after us,

0:04:300:04:32

but they wouldn't allow it.

0:04:320:04:35

When we got back home, my mother said,

0:04:350:04:37

"Right, that's it. You're not going."

0:04:370:04:39

Only days later on 28th June 1940,

0:04:420:04:46

the Germans bombed the island, killing 34 civilians.

0:04:460:04:50

Soon afterwards, they landed. It was to be a long five years.

0:04:500:04:55

The Museum of German Occupation gives

0:04:570:05:00

a sense of what life was like then.

0:05:000:05:02

Within two or three days,

0:05:020:05:04

we saw them, and my mother really stayed indoors for a month or so,

0:05:040:05:09

she wouldn't leave the house,

0:05:090:05:11

she was really just frightened to see them.

0:05:110:05:14

They were big... With helmets, boots, guns.

0:05:140:05:19

I mean, very frightening at the very beginning.

0:05:190:05:22

You never knew what day in day out was going to happen.

0:05:220:05:25

The new laws, you had to do as you were told, I mean, definitely.

0:05:250:05:30

But they kept to themselves and if you didn't, sort of,

0:05:310:05:34

upset them, they were fine.

0:05:340:05:37

-And we had to learn German.

-Did you?

0:05:390:05:41

-You learned German in school?

-Oh, yes.

0:05:410:05:43

We had a German teacher.

0:05:430:05:45

What about going to church?

0:05:450:05:47

What do you remember of that?

0:05:470:05:49

I was in the choir and I used to go every week and it was

0:05:490:05:53

something that people felt they had to.

0:05:530:05:56

I mean, I gave a lot of faith

0:05:560:05:58

and it helped us youngsters again, children.

0:05:580:06:02

Molly, how did you do for food?

0:06:020:06:06

It was a constant worry for my mother.

0:06:060:06:08

In 1942, there was a very bad harvest of potatoes and

0:06:080:06:13

the Germans always used to take them. It was a bad time.

0:06:130:06:18

So, that's when we used to go scrounging.

0:06:180:06:20

Just looking around here, I mean,

0:06:220:06:24

you can see how inventive people had to be with food.

0:06:240:06:27

I mean, parsnip coffee, bramble tea...

0:06:270:06:30

Parsnip coffee wasn't bad actually.

0:06:300:06:33

-Really?

-No.

0:06:330:06:35

The flour towards the end of the 1944 was really awful.

0:06:350:06:41

There was sawdust, there was nails, there was maggots of course

0:06:410:06:46

in this bread, but we had to eat or go without.

0:06:460:06:49

Many of the islanders were saved from starvation,

0:06:500:06:54

by the arrival of the ship carrying Red Cross parcels.

0:06:540:06:57

We loved the Klim.

0:06:570:06:59

Klim was a powdered milk.

0:06:590:07:02

We had chocolate.

0:07:020:07:03

Going to school the next day... Look what we had! Chocolate!

0:07:030:07:07

Finally, the war came to an end and on the 9th May 1945,

0:07:100:07:14

the island was liberated.

0:07:140:07:16

-VOICEOVER:

-General Heiner signed the unconditional surrender of all

0:07:160:07:19

German forces in the islands on behalf of his chief.

0:07:190:07:22

It was on the afternoon of Liberation Day, and we all went

0:07:220:07:27

and started to run and we ran towards these soldiers -

0:07:270:07:30

they must have wondered what was going to happen.

0:07:300:07:33

And when we got down there, we were all kissing them and

0:07:330:07:38

this sailor came up to me and gave me this orange. "What is it?"

0:07:380:07:42

I didn't know, so I flung my arms around him.

0:07:420:07:45

If I live to be 100, I am never going to forget Liberation Day

0:07:470:07:51

and the orange and the freedom that we were going to have.

0:07:510:07:55

It was wonderful.

0:07:550:07:57

This is known as The Little Chapel. It's gorgeous.

0:10:430:10:46

And at just 16 foot by 9 foot,

0:10:460:10:49

it's thought to be the smallest consecrated chapel in the world.

0:10:490:10:53

Since Songs Of Praise was last here in 2004,

0:10:550:10:58

the chapel has been completely renovated.

0:10:580:11:01

Our next piece of music is a memory from that visit performed in

0:11:010:11:04

the grounds of Sausmarez Manor.

0:11:040:11:06

# There is a happy land far, far away

0:11:090:11:16

# Where saints in glory stand Bright, bright as day

0:11:160:11:23

# Oh, how they sweetly sing Worthy is our Saviour King

0:11:230:11:30

# Loud let his praises ring Praise, praise for aye

0:11:300:11:37

# Come to that happy land, come, come away

0:11:430:11:50

# Why will you doubting stand Why still delay?

0:11:500:11:57

# Oh, we shall happy be When from sin and sorrow free

0:11:570:12:03

# Lord, we shall live with thee Blest, blest for aye

0:12:030:12:12

# Bright, in that happy land Beams every eye

0:12:120:12:19

# Kept by a Father's hand Love cannot die

0:12:190:12:27

# Oh, then to glory run be a crown and kingdom won

0:12:270:12:33

# And bright above the sun We reign for aye

0:12:330:12:41

# Bright, in that happy land Beams every eye

0:12:410:12:47

# Beams every eye

0:12:470:12:49

# Kept by a Father's hand Love cannot die

0:12:490:12:56

# Where saints in glory stand Bright, bright as day

0:12:560:13:03

# And bright above the sun We reign for aye

0:13:030:13:10

# And bright above the sun

0:13:100:13:13

# We reign for aye. #

0:13:130:13:21

Guernsey may be part of the British Isles, but

0:13:250:13:27

its proximity to the French coast

0:13:270:13:29

means there is a strong Normandy influence here, too.

0:13:290:13:33

The other thing you can't miss is the cattle.

0:13:330:13:35

These lovely ladies are Guernsey dairy cows.

0:13:370:13:40

The island is famous for them

0:13:400:13:41

and they are the only breed allowed here.

0:13:410:13:44

The de Garis family have been farming here for generations and

0:13:440:13:48

I'm here to sample some of their famous ice cream.

0:13:480:13:52

Oh, this is lovely.

0:13:520:13:53

-Thank you.

-What makes it so special coming from Guernsey cows?

0:13:530:13:56

Because Guernsey cows are the only cows that don't digest

0:13:560:13:59

the keratin, so it makes the milk really creamy and yellow and richer.

0:13:590:14:04

-But they are very happy cows, which makes good ice cream.

-So, Jim,

0:14:040:14:09

what I hear is that not only do you produce wonderful ice cream,

0:14:090:14:12

but you can speak the old Guernsey patois?

0:14:120:14:16

Yes, that was my first language before I went to school.

0:14:160:14:21

The patois is a Normandy French.

0:14:210:14:23

So how would you say, "Are you enjoying your ice cream, Sally?"

0:14:230:14:27

HE SPEAKS GUERNSEY PATOIS

0:14:270:14:29

Jim isn't the oldest speaker in the family though.

0:14:300:14:33

He took me to meet his Aunt Clara, who is a remarkable 107 years old.

0:14:330:14:38

..de vous rencontrer.

0:14:390:14:42

I'm pleased to meet you. My patois is very bad.

0:14:420:14:45

It's fascinating that this is a mixture of French and...

0:14:450:14:50

It's different to French.

0:14:500:14:52

I'm wondering if you and Clara

0:14:520:14:55

could introduce our next hymn for us in Guernsey patois?

0:14:550:15:01

Pere, ecoute la priere que nous t'offre.

0:15:010:15:06

Which is in English?

0:15:060:15:07

Father, hear the prayer we offer.

0:15:070:15:10

Now we have got a new series from Richard Taylor.

0:16:410:16:45

Over the next few weeks, he will be exploring the birthplaces of

0:16:450:16:48

the different Christian denominations in the UK.

0:16:480:16:51

Today, he is in the south-east of England at the very spot

0:16:510:16:55

where Catholicism arrived on our shores.

0:16:550:16:58

It was springtime in the year 597

0:16:590:17:02

when a boat came ashore here at Pegwell Bay in Kent.

0:17:020:17:07

On the boat was a group of men who were quite literally on a mission.

0:17:070:17:13

14 monks sent by Pope Gregory the Great from Rome to bring

0:17:130:17:18

Catholic Christianity to Britain.

0:17:180:17:21

They were about to change the course of our history.

0:17:210:17:24

Britain had been Christian during the late Roman Empire but

0:17:250:17:28

after the Romans abandoned the island,

0:17:280:17:30

pagan tribes from modern-day Germany,

0:17:300:17:33

like the Angles and Saxons, invaded it.

0:17:330:17:36

Christianity clung on in the west and north, but in eastern and

0:17:360:17:39

southern Britain, the Anglo-Saxons dominated, worshipping pagan

0:17:390:17:44

gods like Woden, Thor, Freya, the moon and the sun.

0:17:440:17:48

Gregory picked an abbot called Augustine to lead this

0:17:500:17:54

terrifying mission.

0:17:540:17:56

From the perspective of Rome, Britain was at the edge of

0:17:560:17:59

the known world, devilish, dangerous and damp.

0:17:590:18:04

In fact, the monks got halfway here when they sent a message back

0:18:040:18:07

to Rome to say that actually they were not really sure this

0:18:070:18:10

mission was a terribly good idea after all and could they come

0:18:100:18:13

home, please? But Gregory told them to get on with it.

0:18:130:18:17

As it went, the missionaries were treated well.

0:18:200:18:23

Britain was divided into independent kingdoms and the local king,

0:18:230:18:27

Ethelbert of Kent, was married to a Christian princess from

0:18:270:18:31

across the Channel, so he knew a bit about the strange faith.

0:18:310:18:35

He met the monks under an oak tree.

0:18:350:18:38

This Victorian cross is a memorial to that meeting.

0:18:380:18:41

Augustine and his monks will have made quite an impression.

0:18:430:18:47

The fashion in Rome at the time was for personal reserve

0:18:470:18:51

so they will have come across very formal and stiff-necked.

0:18:510:18:55

They walked in procession, they chanted Latin psalms,

0:18:550:18:59

they performed a mystical ceremony with bread and wine.

0:18:590:19:04

To the pagans, they must have looked like beings from another planet.

0:19:040:19:09

King Ethelbert guaranteed the monks' safety and allowed them to

0:19:110:19:15

worship at a site in his capital at Canterbury

0:19:150:19:18

which is now the parish church of St Martin's.

0:19:180:19:21

It is the oldest church in continuous use

0:19:210:19:25

in the English-speaking world.

0:19:250:19:27

St Martin's is incredible. It is truly ancient.

0:19:280:19:33

Look, there are Roman bricks in the walls, and this was Augustine's

0:19:330:19:37

command centre, his HQ, from where his monks fanned out across

0:19:370:19:41

the country, evangelising to the people.

0:19:410:19:43

Now, most of Europe was Christian by this point,

0:19:450:19:48

so personal conviction aside, there were sound political and

0:19:480:19:51

trade reasons for adopting the new faith, but the fact is that within

0:19:510:19:56

a few years, the King and thousands of his supporters were baptised.

0:19:560:20:00

To find out more, I am talking to local historian Martin Taylor.

0:20:040:20:08

Augustine baptised the King, and what did he do next?

0:20:090:20:14

Well, he persuaded the King to build the monastery and the

0:20:140:20:18

Cathedral and the next door Cathedral in Rochester and

0:20:180:20:23

the Cathedral in London.

0:20:230:20:25

So by the time he died,

0:20:250:20:27

only seven or eight years after he'd come,

0:20:270:20:30

he has laid the foundation that will sustain Christianity,

0:20:300:20:35

and by 690, it will be accepted throughout the English kingdoms.

0:20:350:20:41

Although it is Augustine who is behind Canterbury Cathedral.

0:20:430:20:47

Yes, absolutely. He is England's first archbishop.

0:20:470:20:51

He was the man everybody admired.

0:20:530:20:57

Britain owes its Catholic heritage to Augustine and those old monks,

0:21:000:21:05

but what happened to the pagan gods?

0:21:050:21:08

Did they just disappear?

0:21:080:21:10

Well, in a way, they are still with us - remember their names,

0:21:110:21:15

Woden, Thor, Freya?

0:21:150:21:17

They found a hiding place in our days of the week.

0:21:170:21:21

Woden, Wednesday, Thor, Thursday, Freya, Friday.

0:21:210:21:27

Happy Sunday!

0:21:270:21:29

# Locus iste a Deo factus est

0:21:370:21:45

# Locus iste a Deo factus est

0:21:450:21:58

-# A Deo

-A Deo

0:21:580:22:02

# A Deo factus est

0:22:020:22:09

# Inaestimabile sacramentum

0:22:090:22:22

# Inaestimabile sacramentum

0:22:220:22:35

-# Irreprehensibilis est

-Irreprehensibilis est

0:22:350:22:47

-# Irreprehensibilis est

-Irreprehensibilis est

0:22:470:23:03

# Locus iste a Deo factus est

0:23:030:23:17

# Locus iste a Deo factus est

0:23:170:23:30

-# A Deo

-A Deo

0:23:300:23:37

-# A Deo

-A Deo

0:23:370:23:47

# A Deo

0:23:520:23:55

# A Deo factus est. #

0:23:550:24:12

Guernsey's fertile land makes it perfect

0:24:180:24:21

for growing fruit and vegetables.

0:24:210:24:23

This market garden produces ingredients

0:24:230:24:26

for a very special local eatery.

0:24:260:24:28

Caritas Community Cafe is the brainchild of local vicar

0:24:280:24:32

the Reverend Richard Bellinger.

0:24:320:24:34

I was a bit surprised when Richard didn't want to meet me at the cafe,

0:24:360:24:40

but at the island's prison.

0:24:400:24:41

The plan for the morning is we're going to be doing

0:24:430:24:45

the bhajis over there.

0:24:450:24:46

The bread here. Sausages here, cakes over there.

0:24:480:24:52

Every week, Richard runs cookery sessions with some of the prisoners.

0:24:520:24:56

So, what are we cooking here, Richard?

0:25:010:25:03

We're cooking sausages here.

0:25:030:25:04

This is our root veg and local blue cheese.

0:25:040:25:07

-Lovely.

-I have been doing this for five years and I still can't do it.

0:25:070:25:11

You're either a sausage maker or you are not.

0:25:110:25:13

I discovered I'm not a sausage maker.

0:25:130:25:15

Tell me what goes on here.

0:25:150:25:16

Everybody seems to know what they are doing.

0:25:160:25:18

We have had this group of prisoners for quite some time.

0:25:180:25:21

We work together as a team.

0:25:210:25:23

And what do you hope to achieve here?

0:25:230:25:25

Prisoners are often forgotten people -

0:25:250:25:27

naturally, because they are hidden from society

0:25:270:25:29

and often not viewed very sympathetically in society.

0:25:290:25:32

So what we are trying to do is to work with prisoners

0:25:320:25:35

to know they're not forgotten,

0:25:350:25:37

to reveal gifts and talents in someone who feels, maybe,

0:25:370:25:40

dispossessed of that is a very important part of what we do.

0:25:400:25:44

And because we run a community cafe as well,

0:25:440:25:46

it is a good place to get to know prisoners

0:25:460:25:49

and when they come out of the prison,

0:25:490:25:52

they come to the cafe, if they want to.

0:25:520:25:54

A lot of my friends volunteer at the caf, on the out,

0:25:540:25:56

and it keeps them positive

0:25:560:25:58

when they might not have something to do

0:25:580:26:00

and they go there and it takes up time

0:26:000:26:02

and they really get something out of it.

0:26:020:26:04

Father, we thank you for our day.

0:26:070:26:08

Father God, we pray for our families, Father God,

0:26:080:26:11

that you'd keep them safe. Amen.

0:26:110:26:12

Once the food has been prepared,

0:26:140:26:16

it is taken to the cafe for customers to enjoy.

0:26:160:26:19

Here we are, Stu, we've got some things from prison for you.

0:26:190:26:23

Great, smells lovely, thank you.

0:26:230:26:25

Richard, what's this cafe about?

0:26:250:26:27

It is for all sorts of people, but particularly,

0:26:270:26:29

we minister to those suffering from deprivation.

0:26:290:26:32

God came to liberate us, to give us new beginnings,

0:26:320:26:35

new freedoms, fresh starts, and that's what we're doing here.

0:26:350:26:39

Someone who has been given one of those fresh starts is Stu Page.

0:26:400:26:45

Stu, what is it that brought you to Caritas?

0:26:450:26:47

I was in the Guernsey prison,

0:26:470:26:50

they called for volunteers to help for the Caritas cooking session.

0:26:500:26:54

For the last three months of my sentence,

0:26:540:26:58

I worked with Richard every Friday.

0:26:580:27:00

When I came out, I had no job prospects

0:27:000:27:02

so I didn't know what I was going to do.

0:27:020:27:04

I served three years eight months of my sentence

0:27:040:27:07

and I spent so many years regretting what I did.

0:27:070:27:10

What did you do, Stu?

0:27:100:27:12

I went into a chemist

0:27:120:27:14

and held them at knife-point and then took the tablets -

0:27:140:27:19

I was a drug addict.

0:27:190:27:21

I felt genuine guilt and sorrow

0:27:210:27:23

and all I wanted to do was give back

0:27:230:27:26

and I thought, "How can I give back?"

0:27:260:27:28

And then I thought, well, if I volunteer here,

0:27:280:27:31

I can start by doing that.

0:27:310:27:33

Stu soon proved his worth

0:27:330:27:35

and was given the full-time paid job as head chef.

0:27:350:27:38

Everyone knows me on this island,

0:27:390:27:41

everyone knows what I did,

0:27:410:27:43

so it's something you have to live with.

0:27:430:27:46

One cheese and ham sandwich, thank you.

0:27:460:27:49

'Trust doesn't come easily.

0:27:490:27:51

'I have had to work hard for that,

0:27:510:27:53

'16 months of gaining Richard's trust.'

0:27:530:27:56

I was never religious.

0:27:560:27:58

I used to go to church in prison

0:27:580:28:00

and then it was only last Friday and I was at a church service

0:28:000:28:05

and I cried.

0:28:050:28:07

I cried in that service, you know?

0:28:070:28:09

Because Jesus died for us.

0:28:090:28:12

That's the part that really made me believe

0:28:120:28:14

and I think that has given me my faith.

0:28:140:28:17

It really has.

0:28:170:28:19

Amazing Grace is one of the first songs

0:28:200:28:23

I learned to play on the guitar.

0:28:230:28:25

I've sung it a lot, especially in prison,

0:28:250:28:27

and, you know, they say about breaking chains

0:28:270:28:31

and that's what means a lot to me.

0:28:310:28:33

I really enjoyed my time in Guernsey and I hope you have too.

0:31:500:31:54

Next week, we're in Cumbria,

0:31:540:31:56

exploring the origins of the National Trust

0:31:560:31:58

but we leave you with our final hymn,

0:31:580:32:00

Jesus Shall Reign Where'er The Sun.

0:32:000:32:03

Sally Magnusson visits Guernsey as its people approach the anniversary of the liberation of the island from German occupation in May 1945. She hears from a woman who lived under Nazi rule and how, even today, a community café run by ex-offenders is still liberating people.

Music:

All Hail the Power of Jesus Name by Keith and Kristyn Getty Thy Hand, O God, Has Guided from St Ninian's Cathedral, Perth Happy Land by Bel Canto Choir Father Hear the Prayer We Offer from All Saints Church, Cheltenham Locus Iste by The Templar Scholars Choir Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) from City Gates, Ilford Jesus Shall Reign Where're the Sun from St Albans Church, Bristol.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS