Love, Light and Unity Songs of Praise


Love, Light and Unity

Aled Jones is at Southwark Cathedral in London to reveal how people are pulling together in a spirit of love, light and unity.


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Transcript


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I'm at Southwark Cathedral, next to London Bridge.

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A proudly inclusive church,

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where people of many different cultures worship together.

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Now, after the recent tragic events,

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Songs Of Praise is here to celebrate the spirit of love, light and unity,

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which is helping our communities recover.

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This week, I'm with Christians

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helping residents of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

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-This IS church.

-It IS church.

-This is DOING church.

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Josie d'Arby meets the Church of England's youngest black vicar,

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who has a positive message of change.

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Put the knives down, put the guns down

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and create a better future for everybody else.

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And how The Salvation Army

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supports our emergency services in testing times.

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I like it because it's Christianity with the sleeves rolled up.

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In a show of togetherness, people of different faiths

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have gathered here at Southwark Cathedral.

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And we begin with a hymn which expresses

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a profound sense of hope in God.

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Southwark Cathedral sits right next to Borough Market,

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and both were closed for a week after the terrorist attack here.

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But since then, the Dean of the Cathedral,

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the Very Reverend Andrew Nunn,

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has felt a new sense of unity in this neighbourhood.

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We've been here kind of around about 1,400 years.

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The market's been here 1,000 years.

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And so the attack on the community felt very much like an attack on

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what has been established here,

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but with deep roots, you know, Aled? Deep roots.

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But a tremendously positive thing

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has come out of what was so negative.

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The relationships here.

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We knew the landlord,

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but we didn't know the landlord as we now know the landlord.

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When the Archbishop of Canterbury came,

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he said that one of the kind of unwitting consequences

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of the terrorist action was to actually strengthen the community.

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That actually, the goodness of people

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-is so much stronger than any amount of evil.

-Mm-hm.

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And that is a real thing of hope for me.

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I knew it, but I now know it more.

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Shall we go and take a little walk through the market?

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-That would be fantastic.

-Come on.

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-So many different cultures, so many different faiths.

-That's right.

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Did you find that all faiths pulled together after the incident?

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It was really interesting how that worked.

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Because a young Muslim guy from the parish,

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he texted me and said he couldn't go home, could he come to me?

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-So he ended up staying in the deanery that evening.

-Gosh.

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And then, on the back of that, we've had 100 imams

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and Muslim scholars on London Bridge.

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We were praying together and witnessing to what we share.

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And then, on the first Friday after the attack,

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I was invited to go and speak during Friday prayers at our local mosque.

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-Gosh.

-Yeah.

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It was the greatest privilege, really, to be able to speak

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to those people and just say about our shared humanity.

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What did you say, good will always win?

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Good will ALWAYS win, Aled.

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The market was packed. Good to see that your cathedral's busy, as well.

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Yeah. Lots of people come here

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and find something that's peaceful.

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An oasis, a place to pray.

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The values that we seek to live by are those of inclusion,

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of welcome, where diversity is not tolerated, but celebrated.

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-Mm-hm.

-And I think it's only through those kind of values

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which we try to live out day by day,

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that good things can happen.

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That we recognise every person around us as our neighbour.

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BIRDSONG

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What happened at Grenfell Tower on 14th June,

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as you can see behind me, led to devastation on an enormous scale.

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One of the many organisations here doing their bit

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to try and help the healing process is the Tabernacle Church.

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-Hi.

-How are you?

-Very well, thank you.

-Very nice to see you.

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VOICEOVER: I joined Pastor Derrick Wilson

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and his team of volunteers for a day,

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to see how they've transformed their church

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into a distribution centre

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for survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

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So we've got clothes, we've got bedding,

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we've got toiletries, baby foods.

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So what happens when this is a church,

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do people just sit on the floor, or...?

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If you're up there doing your bit,

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am I having to look over clothes rails to see you?

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We just take these rails

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across the road,

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and we put back out the chairs on Sunday morning and we have church.

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-Wow!

-Well, this IS church.

-It IS church.

-This is DOING church.

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-Real-life church.

-That's right. Absolutely.

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Every day, there's a buzz of activity.

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The church team head out to deliver goods

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to former Grenfell Tower residents.

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And back at base, I'm meeting one of the volunteers, Charlie.

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She commutes here from Essex

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and has more reasons than most to be involved.

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Well, I had a fire about ten years ago and I lost my home,

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so I wanted to put something back.

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-How lovely.

-People helped me.

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What's it been like being here?

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It's been emotional, yeah.

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It's been tough, but it's been worth it.

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Because these people have lost everything

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and I think it's the least we can do.

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-And we've just all come together just for the one reason.

-Yeah.

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-To help.

-You don't go to this church normally?

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No, but I've started. I've come back to church.

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-Have you really?

-Yeah. I come to the service

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-and it spurred me to carry on, so...

-Amazing!

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One of the former residents of Grenfell Tower is Luca.

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He survived the fire, but has lost everything

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and is now being helped by the Tabernacle.

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-It's good to have places like this.

-Absolutely.

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And do you have a faith yourself?

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Hm.

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I probably do, yeah.

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Why do you say "probably"?

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Because at this moment, I really don't know who to trust or not.

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This makes it a little bit easier, you know,

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places like this church, and some other places

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makes our position and our situation,

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which we're in right now, a bit easier.

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And thanks... Thank you, thank...

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I would like to thank all of them that try to do as much as they can.

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There are a lot of scared people here, in this community now.

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There is, yeah. There is. Um...

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Can you see a light at the end of the tunnel

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at this moment in time?

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It's far away.

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I hope there is a light, but it's far away.

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What gives you that hope?

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What gives you that, um...the energy to keep on going?

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Unfortunately, this is not my first time to get through this situation.

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So I've got a few times through

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and I hope I will get this time, as well.

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-I hope so, too. Thank you so much for talking to me.

-Thank you.

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The first responders at major incidents

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like the one here at Borough Market -

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those who run towards danger - include The Salvation Army.

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Founded back in 1865,

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their Christian mission to serve the community involves supporting

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the emergency services.

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Josie d'Arby has been to Bury

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to see how they prepare for this emotionally-demanding work.

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Now, this is only a reconstruction,

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but it's one of the very realistic training exercises

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for fire officers from across the country.

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Also arriving on the scene is a unit from The Salvation Army,

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providing essential support and backup to the emergency officers.

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Husband and wife team

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Majors Nigel and Sue Tansley are manning the van.

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Five minutes, the water will be boiled.

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We can put a list of what we've used for today.

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Great. I'll take this down, then.

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The guys are working hard, they become dehydrated.

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We're providing tea, coffee and basic foods for them,

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just to keep them physically going.

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But more than that, it's a case of relaxation.

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It's normalising a very difficult situation for them.

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And just those 10-15 minutes

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when they're away from away from work

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means they can reset their minds, get things back into perspective.

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Over the years, we've attended fires, floods, all sorts of things.

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I like it because it's Christianity with the sleeves rolled up.

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And we're just there for people when they need us.

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They turn up in the middle of the night, provide us

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with welcome brews, and they've always got a smile on their face.

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-It's as important as the stuff we're doing.

-If not more.

-Yeah.

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They actually provide a service if you need to go

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and talk to somebody or get something off your chest.

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It gives us that boost of energy that we need to keep going.

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They're lovely people.

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For over 150 years, The Salvation Army, founded in London

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by William Booth, have loved their neighbours as themselves.

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It was in the 1970s they first partnered

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with fire and rescue teams.

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And at the scene of the recent Manchester attack,

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they provided support to senior fire officer Ben Levy.

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I was located at one of the rendezvous points,

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alongside The Salvation Army for much of that evening, actually.

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Their faith is very much a comfort to me.

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It's very clear, the passion that The Salvation Army show.

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And they will do this regardless of any perceived faith

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that they have of their firefighters that they help.

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And they're there for every single one of us.

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Well, it's several hours into the day now

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and the operation has moved into the rescue phase.

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In real life, however long it goes on,

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The Salvation Army will stay here, too.

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It's trying to bring something of the love of Jesus,

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the peace of Jesus, the power of Jesus,

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into a very, very abnormal situation.

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And if it's making them a cup of tea, I'll make them a cup of tea.

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If it's listening to their problems

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and the things that they've seen, I'll do that.

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Showing Jesus to the people in what you do.

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And sometimes, maybe that's all they see of Jesus.

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And if that's what they see, a cup of tea,

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and it reminds them that God loves them, that's brilliant.

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That theme of love and service is reflected in our next piece of music,

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and it's sung by Southwark Cathedral's Merbecke Choir.

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That beautiful anthem, Ubi Caritas,

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performed here at Southwark Cathedral,

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reflects the words inspired by the Bible,

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"Where there is love, there also is God".

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Well, our next hymn, written 400 miles away

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in the Iona Community in Scotland,

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speaks of the healing and hope that emerges when people unite.

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For generations, the resilience of Londoners has been tested,

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and they've always come through, however tough the tragedy.

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Josie has been to Harlesden in North West London

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to meet one young man who embodies a spirit of hope for the future.

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What's the area like to live in?

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Yeah, you know, Harlesden's a very multicultural area.

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It has had a negative reputation in the past,

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-but I think every negative area has something good to offer.

-Absolutely.

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What were YOU like, then, as a child growing up around here and a young man?

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As a teenager, I used to go clubbing,

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raving and started drinking alcohol.

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And at the same time, I would still be going to church,

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so I kind of felt like I had one foot in the church

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-and one foot in the rave, sort of thing.

-Yeah.

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It all kind of came to a standpoint for me

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when I had my first child, I was expecting my first child.

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So that's when I just thought, just forget all this raving

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and nightclub and getting drunk, coming home late.

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Let me just try and be responsible

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and take my Christianity more seriously.

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After getting his life back on track,

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David spent five years studying at college.

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And today, he is the Reverend David,

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and taking his first ever communion service

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as the UK's youngest black Church of England priest.

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And in the dream, I was so happy in the dream!

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Like how I feel right now! Amen!

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David brings to his church sermons

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the infectious humour he's always had.

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It's a moment of joy for his friends and family.

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And some fresh Nike trainers!

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And I was looking all swagalicious!

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CONGREGATION CHUCKLE

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It brings tears to the eyes, joy to the heart.

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It's not just him being a priest,

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it's him being given a job by God.

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It's been a journey.

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As David's mum, I watched him grow.

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Of course, he made his mistakes,

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however, he did not go too far before God pulled him back.

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He is so inspiring.

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I have fallen in love with Jesus!

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And it would be nice to see him become a bishop one day,

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I think that would be really cool.

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Because our grandfather was an archdeacon,

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so it would be nice to see David kind of surpass that.

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Growing up in Stonebridge wasn't easy.

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And I remember getting into a fight just across the road,

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and a young man pulled out a knife and tried to stab me.

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So, um...when I look back at that,

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I just think to myself, I could've been in the papers

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for a different reason, other than being a priest.

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So, you know, I'm just thankful to God

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that he gave me an opportunity

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to inspire other young black men

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to put the knives down, put the guns down

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and just to do something positive

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so that we can create a better future for everybody else.

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We know the world is not a perfect place and it needs a lot of healing.

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What would your prayer be at the time we're in now?

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I just pray that God will just protect London

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and just give the world the peace that passes all understanding.

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You know, when human beings have run out of answers

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and explanations as to why there's so much evil,

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you just have to look to that higher good and that higher power.

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-In Jesus Christ our Lord.

-CONGREGATION: Amen.

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We wish the Reverend David Nwogbe well in his new ministry.

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And we're going to continue the theme of optimism now

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and our next very special performance.

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Joined by the Parrs Wood High School Choir from Manchester,

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Katherine Jenkins sings an anthem which raises hope the world over.

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# When you walk through a storm

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# Hold your head up high

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# And don't be afraid of the dark

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# At the end of the storm is a golden sky

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# And the sweet, silver song of a lark

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# Walk on through the wind

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# Walk on through the rain

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# Though your dreams be tossed and blown

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-ALL:

-# Walk on, walk on

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# With hope in your heart

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# And you'll never walk alone

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# You'll never walk alone

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-# Walk on

-# Walk on

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-# Walk on

-# Walk on

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# With hope in your heart

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# And you'll never walk alone

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# You'll never walk alone

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# Alone. #

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Not all of us are able to offer practical help in times of tragedy,

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but just as this wall near Grenfell Tower shows us,

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each of us can have a voice through prayer.

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For the youth of our nation, bring light.

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For the people who serve our nation...

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..bring love.

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For those who hurt in our nation, bring healing.

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For your love never fails.

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And through the darkness, your light always shines.

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Amen.

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Next week, Claire McCollum is on the Wirral

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visiting the idyllic village of Port Sunlight,

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built by the Christian entrepreneur, William Lever,

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for his factory workers.

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And 13-year-old Beau Dermott sings Tears In Heaven.

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And now, we return to Southwark Cathedral for our final hymn.

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Aled Jones is at Southwark Cathedral in London to reveal how people are pulling together in a spirit of love, light and unity after the recent tragic events in the capital. Josie d'Arby finds out how the Salvation Army supports the emergency services and meets Britain's youngest black vicar as he gives his first service.


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