Pentecost Praise Songs of Praise


Pentecost Praise

David Grant is in Brighton for Pentecost Sunday. Stuart Townend performs his song Vagabonds, and there is contemporary praise from Lou Fellingham and Phatfish.


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Brighton is a place of religious contrasts.

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Its oldest church dates back to the 12th century,

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but in the last census 42% of the population professed no religion.

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I think it's very multicultural here

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and we have a lot of different aspects of religion.

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A friend at work sort of said yes, she believes in God

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and I just found that a bit strange.

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I certainly don't think that Brighton is different to anywhere else.

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It's a fun-loving city and it draws a lot of people from London who

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want to come and have a good time.

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But I think, if you look for the good in most people, it's there.

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Faith may be getting mixed reviews, but today we join Christians

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as they celebrate the birth of the church this Pentecost Sunday.

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Today on Songs of Praise,

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we visit the alfresco art with a spiritual message.

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Meet a prayerful community as they celebrate Pentecost.

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Stuart Townend performs his latest song, Vagabonds.

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And Lou Fellingham with Phatfish

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lead hymns and songs to lift your spirits.

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Pentecost, 50 days after Easter

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and, according to the book of Acts in the Bible,

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the time when the followers of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit.

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It came down from heaven like tongues of fire

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and from that point on,

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the Christian message spread across the world.

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Our music comes from the Church of Christ the King, Brighton,

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who start with a song about the day

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that God breathed his spirit into his followers.

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Like most UK towns, Brighton has its fair share of statues

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and sculptures, both sacred and spiritual, which, to be honest,

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most of us never take a second look at.

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But Reverend Martin Poole is turning everyday locations

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in Brighton into an ever-changing alfresco art gallery,

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where the exhibits are designed to enlighten as well as entertain.

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Martin, that is a really familiar image. How did it get here?

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Tell us about it.

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It was put there by a graffiti artist called Orticanoodles

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who was from Italy.

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-It's great, isn't it?

-Yeah, fantastic.

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He just saw the potential of the crown.

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Originally it had barbed wire wrapped into it anyway,

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and it just made a natural crown of thorns.

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And he created this beautiful face that went there.

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What do people think about it when they see it?

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I think it reminds them that God is here, in the degradation

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and suffering that you see with this West Pier.

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I love the fact that it's falling apart.

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And there's something that God shares in our brokenness.

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You use this beach all year round, don't you?

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Tell us about what you do here at Christmas.

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We invented an event called the Beach Hut Advent Calendar.

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So every night in December, a different beach hut opens its doors

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like a massive Advent calendar.

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With some sort of art installation or decoration or something inside.

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It's a fantastic community art project.

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The artwork draws on many contemporary styles,

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including audio.

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'As Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas,

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'one of the 12 disciples.

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'Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss.'

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This is a sculpture called The Kiss.

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It was put there to commemorate those who died through HIV and AIDS.

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But we used it to focus on Jesus' betrayal with a kiss.

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It was part of what was called The Silent Meditation,

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which was a trail around central Brighton.

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People collected headphones.

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And as they approached things like this,

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they would get played specific audio.

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Do you see this as an art project, as an evangelistic project?

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How did you perceive it?

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We try hard not to preach, but allow things like this to inspire

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and provoke people to think about God in a way that they hadn't before.

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Some of the most spectacular pieces are best viewed at night.

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Like these illuminated crosses,

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which blend carnival with Christianity.

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Do you think that there's anything too sacred that can't be

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turned into art?

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I personally don't think so. I think that God uses everything.

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I like what Augustine said, which is that

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all things are possible to find some inspiration around God.

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What does Pentecost mean to you?

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Pentecost is about being inspired by the Spirit.

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And of course, those two words are connected.

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Being "inspired" literally means "having the spirit in you."

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And that's where I think artistic inspiration comes from.

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Over 8 million people visit Brighton every year.

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One man who came here as a student and stayed is Stuart Townend.

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He's one of the worship leaders at the Church of Christ the King.

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But he's better known as one of the country's leading writers

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of hymns and worship songs, such as In Christ Alone,

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the most sung hymn in churches in the UK.

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# Come all you vagabonds

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# Come all you don't belongs

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# Winners and losers

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# Come people like me... #

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But his latest song Vagabonds has a very different feel.

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# Wait a while, stay a while

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# Welcome you'll be... #

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I've been writing songs that may mean something to those people who

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aren't regular churchgoers.

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The Gospel is not for a select few people. It's actually for everyone.

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So, in a sense, Vagabonds tries to take the message of the Gospel

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but put it in a way that will have an immediacy for other people.

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So I imagine it being sung in church, but I'd quite like to think, and

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actually I know that in certain places, you know,

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it may get sung in a pub as well.

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Some of the lyrics, like, "from every station and orientation"

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or "accusers, abusers, the hurt and ignored",

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for some people, to say that all of these people are included

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must be quite a challenging thing to sing.

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Were you deliberately writing something that you felt,

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I want to challenge people?

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I think many people will think of the Gospel as being something

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quite conservative, almost reactionary, because that's

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kind of the role that it seems to have in our society at the moment.

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That's the visible part of church that people see.

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They think it's quite conservative.

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In fact, it's exactly the opposite. It is radical.

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The invitation is for those who've been wounded,

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who've been victimised, who've been abused.

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But the invitation is also to the one who's committed the crime.

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It's actually to everyone.

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And that's really radical. That's hard, isn't it?

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It's hard to think that the perpetrator is also welcomed in,

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just like the victim.

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Stuart, what does Pentecost mean to you?

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It's obviously about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

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But what it reminds me of is that God is not far away, God is close.

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And God has given the Holy Spirit,

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just as Jesus was among his disciples and close

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to his disciples, the Holy Spirit has been given to be close to us.

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He's closer than a brother. He's closer than a lover.

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He is intimately involved in our lives.

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For you, is Pentecost about the spirit of inclusivity?

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Absolutely.

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I mean, if you look at the story, when the apostles came out,

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the disciples came out, filled with the Holy Spirit,

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they started speaking in all sorts of different languages.

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And people are going, hang on, he's speaking my language.

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He's speaking to me and I'm from, you know, this distant place over here.

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Or this backwater over here. It clearly is the message of the Gospel.

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And the message of Pentecost is actually,

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everyone is to hear this because there's something for everyone.

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Everyone can be included in this.

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This is the amazing, radical, wonderful,

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sometimes uncomfortable nature of the Good News of Christ.

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# Come, all you vagabonds, come all you don't belongs

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# Winners and losers, come, people like me

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# Come all you travellers

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# Tired from the journey, come wait a while, stay a while

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# Welcomed you'll be

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# Come all you questioners looking for answers

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# And searching for reasons and sense in it all

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# Come all you fallen, and come all you broken

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# Find strength for your body and food for your soul

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# Come to the feast, there is room at the table

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# Come let us meet in this place

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# With the King of all kindness who welcomes us in

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# With the wonder of love, and the power of grace

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# The wonder of the love, and the power of grace

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# Come those who worry 'bout houses and money

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# And all those who don't have a care in the world

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# From every station and orientation

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# The helpless, the hopeless, the young and the old

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# Come to the feast, there is room at the table

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# Come let us meet in this place

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# With the King of all kindness who welcomes us in

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# With the wonder of love, and the power of grace

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# The wonder of the love, and the power of grace

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# Come all believers and dreamers and schemers

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# And come all you restless just searching for home

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# Movers and shakers and givers and takers

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# The happy, the sad, the lost and alone

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# Come self-sufficient with wearied ambition

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# And come those who feel at the end of the road

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# Fiery debaters and religion haters

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# Accusers, abusers, the hurt and ignored

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# Come to the feast, there is room at the table

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# Come let us meet in this place

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# With the King of all kindness who welcomes us in

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# With the wonder of love, and the power of grace

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# The wonder of the love, and the power of grace

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# The wonder of the love, and the power of grace. #

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For most of us, getting up and out in the morning is noisy,

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chaotic and stressful.

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But things are very different here.

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Each day begins with two hours of prayer.

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This is the Wellspring Community.

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They are trying to fuse modern life with that of a Benedictine monastery.

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They pray morning, noon and night individually

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and as a community for up to five hours a day.

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# Oh, God, come to our aid

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# Oh, Lord, make haste to help us... #

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We were very powerfully inspired by that vision of community,

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of communion found in the Acts Of The Apostles,

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where it describes that early Christian community in Jerusalem.

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The early church.

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And the way in which people lived a common life with common prayer,

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sharing all of their resources, pooling their incomes,

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sharing their food, gladly and generously.

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How long do you see yourself being here? Or living this lifestyle?

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I would imagine that my commitment to this path, to this vocation,

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is really for life.

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I feel that God has called me to give myself to Him,

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through a community life, rooted in prayer.

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# Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth... #

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'Jess and Anna share the house with Jo,

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'but are only planning to stay for about a year.'

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Have you found the prayer routine hard?

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Yes, because I really like to sleep.

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And it's early mornings. That was quite difficult.

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But it has been really fruitful and I know that it's something that

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I will take away with me from my time here.

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For you, Jess, how has living here changed you?

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I think it's helping to get my priorities in life sorted.

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Putting God and your faith as top priority and in one sense

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everything else kind of slots in, to some extent, after.

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# My soul glorifies the Lord... #

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In the evening, the girls usually join other community members

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at the local church.

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Ben and Katy were recently married

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and now incorporate prayer into their relationship.

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I think the three different types of prayer - prayer alone,

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prayer together and prayer community take very different shapes.

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And they have very different purposes, as well.

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# Hallowed be thy name... #

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Praying as a couple, because we have committed our lives to each other,

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there's a greater intimacy. In the prayer, we are

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able to share on a much deeper level than we would with other people

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in community, because we are living together on a day to day basis

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in, you know, every moment of our life.

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# Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us... #

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I think Pentecost is enormously important to us

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because it is that founding moment of humanity being able to come

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together in communion.

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Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles

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gathered together in the upper room,

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all that division of inhumanity through sin

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and through pride was overcome by the Holy Spirit and they were able then

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to be able to live a common life, to be united in one heart and one mind.

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Heavenly Father, we celebrate the Holy Spirit

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Who inspires us and fills us with desire

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To show your love to the world

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Through music, we can talk to all people,

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regardless of language, age or gender

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In prayer, draw us to yourself

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That we may live from you

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Amen.

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Pentecost is the birthday of the church

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and so it is quite rightly a time of celebration.

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But it's also a time of reflection.

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All the people I've met today have shown the impact the

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Holy Spirit has had on their lives

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through art or song or prayer.

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Our last piece of music exuberantly expresses

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the joy that the Holy Spirit brings.

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Next week, Eamonn is on the road in County Fermanagh with the ambulance

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technician whose drive to care for others has transformed her life.

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And the Irish dancers who are sharing their faith.

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There's music from Clannad's Moya Brennan

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and hymns from the combined choirs and congregations of Enniskillen.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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David Grant is in Brighton for Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the church, to meet worship leader Stuart Townend, who performs his thought-provoking song Vagabonds, and to introduce contemporary praise from Lou Fellingham and Phatfish.


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