Pentecost Sunday Songs of Praise


Pentecost Sunday

Diane Louise Jordan celebrates the birthday of the church with dance group Rebirth and Christians from the Indian and Pakistani communities in Leicester.


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Transcript


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'How do you get a valuable piece of art

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'that measures 12 foot by eight foot out of a lorry

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'and into Leicester Cathedral?' That doorway...

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'Answer?

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'Carefully.'

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THEY LAUGH

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Ho, ho!

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Welcome to this birthday celebration.

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It is Pentecost Sunday, the anniversary of the church

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when the disciples of Jesus were inspired by the holy spirit

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to just spread the word of Christianity.

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If you're actually wondering what we're doing here,

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it just so happens that the guys here at Leicester Cathedral

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agree with me that every birthday celebration needs a present.

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# Happy birthday to you

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# Happy birthday to you

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# Happy birthday... #

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I promise you, this is a gorgeous present.

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Certainly worth waiting to see.

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And you'll have to wait a little bit longer,

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because I'll be showing it to you later on in the programme.

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'It's party time, as churches everywhere celebrate Pentecost,

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'the moment the church began.'

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I join dance group Arriba, as they tell the story through dance,

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we meet Leicester's Indian community,

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breathing new life into an old church

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and we're in the city's cathedral for some magnificent music.

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ORGAN MUSIC BEGINS

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# Holy, holy, holy

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# Lord God almighty

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# Early in the morning

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# Our song shall rise to thee

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# Holy, holy, holy

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# Merciful and mighty

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# God in three persons

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# Blessed Trinity... #

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DANCE MUSIC PLAYS

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Wow, what a great start to our Pentecost Songs Of Praise.

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And here, in the city of Leicester, there's such a multicultural feel,

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with people from all over the world settling here

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and of course bringing with them their different languages and faith.

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SITAR MUSIC

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Across the road from this impressive Hindu temple

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is the Anglican Church that was known as St Gabriel's.

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Back in 2010, with dwindling numbers,

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the church was forced to close its doors

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and looked like it was destined to be sold to the developers.

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But they didn't reckon on the passion

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and commitment of Sunny George and his family.

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I will desist from saying that it was Sunny George who was

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the driving force behind opening this church. No.

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I don't believe in coincidence, but I do believe in God-incidence.

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So, I can always see the explicit hand of God in everything

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that happens in our lives. It was a divine design.

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So, we used to pray to the Lord that we should get a place

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that we can call our own.

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A place that accords us a sense of belongingness.

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It was when Sunny met the Bishop of Leicester

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that he seized his opportunity.

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I said, "Bishop, if you could give us that closed church."

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He said, "Why that particular church? That's closed, that's up for sale.

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"Why don't you have some other church?"

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I said, "Because of the strategic location."

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On our right, we have the largest Hindu temple

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called the Swaminarayan Temple.

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And over there,

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we have the pub.

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And, right at the back, we have a supermarket.

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So, it's a thoroughfare.

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The Lord says to me that you'll be able to catch not only fish

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but huge crocodiles there. I have that sort of feeling.

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So, on 10th of June, 2012, against all the odds,

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the church was saved and reopened as All Saints Anglican Church.

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It now attracts people from across the community in Leicester.

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-So, in your service, you use a lot of dance and movement?

-Yes.

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You know, the Asian people are very expressive. They say,

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if you love someone, show it. How do you express your love for somebody?

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You jump with joy. You dance.

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So, in order to show the love for the Lord, they jump and dance.

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I can't really sing. And dancing is a better way of expressing stuff.

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I love every moment here.

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It's so colourful, it's so traditional as well,

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but, yet, it's so open.

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And many speak different languages, such as Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.

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Let us all say together in whatever language we feel comfortable.

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South Indian languages, I don't understand.

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But it's still really nice to hear the different languages as well.

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SPEAKS HIS LANGUAGE

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The language has never been a barrier.

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The Pentecost, when the Spirit descended upon them, they started

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talking in tongues, which could be understood by anybody and everybody.

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You may not understand 100%,

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sometimes you only understand 50% of it,

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but, still, the Holy Spirit makes it intelligible to them.

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I'm not here to convert anybody. I just introduce people to Jesus.

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And then leave it... with Jesus and them.

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As promised earlier, the painting is now in position,

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and artist Paul Benney is ready to reveal it to me and a group

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of friends from the cathedral who have come in for a sneak preview.

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This picture here is in a completely different league, isn't it?

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It's incredible.

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So I'm... For the first time ever I'm lost for words

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because it is such an incredibly compelling picture.

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Paul, what's it called?

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It's called Speaking In Tongues.

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I suddenly discovered that there are many stories

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not only in the Bible but in other sacred texts,

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that have fire as a representation of the spirit, as in the Holy Spirit.

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But the man there...

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Sheila, what was your first reaction when you saw this?

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How did it make you feel?

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Honestly, when I first saw it I didn't like it.

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I didn't get into it at first.

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It's taken me quite a few minutes just standing and looking

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and listening and thinking, and then suddenly I was in there

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and I was with those people

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and I wanted to know more about what was going on.

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I like the fact that you've used contemporary figures

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to represent the Apostles.

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Why did you do that and who are they?

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They're just my mates! LAUGHTER

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It occurred to me that the painters of historical scenes,

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of biblical scenes in the Renaissance,

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until recently, will have always used their friends as models.

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It's very interesting to see the way that you've used this

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sort of reflective resin effect.

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What were you hoping to create with that?

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Well, it's a technique I've used over the last year or two

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and I've got more and more extravagant.

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And this is the most ambitious piece I've tried.

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You can literally see yourself in there.

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Yes, and that is a bit of a shock to start with because you think...

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"Shall I stand somewhere else where I can't see me?"

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And then you realise that is the sole purpose of it,

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that you're supposed to see you within that group.

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I like the way the fire seems separate from them.

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They are hardly aware it's there,

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and very often we don't know when God is doing something,

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we need to pay more attention. But as a woman,

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I feel that picture actually speaks to everybody, not just men.

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It's that hinge moment of a turning point from perhaps their grief

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and sorrow and anxiety to suddenly something new is happening.

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The eyes, the figures,

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the faces here, are still coming to terms with what's going on.

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Some of them are quite uncertain about what's happening here.

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But there's a sense of momentum

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and energy within the painting which is deep and very real.

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It's bringing our experience today alive

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and bringing Pentecost alive with us.

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This is Rebirth, a contemporary Christian dance group,

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who've been touring the country as part of a national celebration.

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You look like you're having fun!

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In a minute these guys are going to teach me some moves, but before that

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we're going to find out about the festival that celebrates Pentecost.

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The biggest birthday party...

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ever.

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Tonight really is the celebration of Pentecost...

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'Seven years ago,

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'Andy Frost set up the festival to put Pentecost back on the map.

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'And today, churches across the UK are hosting parties

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'to mark the birthday of the church.'

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Andy, what do you mean when you say "the church"? What is the church?

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Well, the catchphrase for the Pentecost Festival has always been

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"The church has left the building."

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The church isn't the building. The church is me and you.

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And I hope that as we celebrate Pentecost,

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we leave our buildings behind and begin to see the church

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is about me and you, people, ordinary people doing extraordinary

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things because God has done something in our lives.

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It's about celebrating the spirit of God at work in our lives

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as the people of God, as his church.

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I think it's really important for people to understand

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where the roots of their faith come from and for people to get involved

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in today's culture, for them to understand

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the history of their church and to understand how important it is

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that Jesus is in their daily lives. That's really important.

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Anyone can be part of it, whether you're a dancer, singer,

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comedian, actor, actress.

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Anyone can take part, which is great. Great news.

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And that's just what dance group Rebirth are preparing to do.

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So, D7, how do you actually tell the story of Pentecost

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through dance?

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Basically, keep it biblical, the story of it

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and the day of Pentecost and

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everything it represents and how

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God's spirit came down and enabled people to do extraordinary things.

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And we want to show that in a very dance element way,

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and show the strength and skill that we have.

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It's very diverse.

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I'm from Canada myself and one of the dancers here is from America

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and we are all from everywhere.

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You are creating a story through dance.

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What's the difference with this story?

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Everyone loves to dance.

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That's the main thing about dance - it's fun.

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But the fact that we get to dance for God

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and that there is a message behind what we do,

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I think it makes it so much more rewarding to ourselves as a group.

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All right, D7, I'm in your capable hands.

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I need you to teach me a little move

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-so I can feel part of your dance troupe.

-Cool.

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5, 6, 7, and...

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-Like it!

-SHE LAUGHS

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# Holy Spirit, rain down

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# Rain down

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# Our Comforter and friend

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# How we need your touch again. #

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Mariam is a palliative care doctor,

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and as part of her job she visits patients in their own homes.

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I mainly look after people

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with advanced, progressive, life-limiting conditions.

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Obviously, time is really precious

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and you want to make it as comfortable as possible for them.

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Personally, I felt that it was almost a calling for me.

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I felt that it was God guiding me to do something that would help.

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Quoting Mother Teresa's words, "Not everyone can do great things,

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"but we can do small things with great love and compassion."

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-Hi, Tony.

-Hi, Mariam.

-Morning. How are you?

-Fine, thank you. Come on in.

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Today, Mariam is visiting Tony,

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who's been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

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Would you like to see me eat something?

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-That would be great.

-Sure.

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'I actually enjoy visiting people in their homes.

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'I think it's a privilege because you're going into their space.

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'The challenge is you don't know what's going to face you there,

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'how much you can help.'

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I would say it's one of the most fulfilling parts of my role.

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It also stops you from feeling that eating is such a massive effort.

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Yeah, yeah. It makes it so much easier.

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-I've found that it was quite tiring sometimes to eat.

-Yes.

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'I've always thought about medicine as itself, not as something'

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that could really fix people.

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We all die eventually, but if we could do something to help

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carry a bit of that cross for them,

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and make even the smallest difference,

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it's crucial for them to have some comfort, ease in their suffering,

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then I thought, "Well, that's something that would work for me."

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When she's not out on visits,

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Mariam is based at the hospice, Loros.

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-Hi, how are you?

-Fine, thanks.

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'I wouldn't dream of working in a place that is glum and gloomy.

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'The hospice is a place where we try our best to make sure that

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'people get as many happy moments as possible when they are here.'

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It's a job that demands not just Mariam's medical skills,

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but also takes a good deal of emotional strength.

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'Sadness does touch you frequently.'

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I think, when I get overwhelmingly sad,

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it's my faith that helps me cope with it.

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'A lot of people are quite worried about offering

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'spiritual support to a certain extent,'

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so it's wonderful to know that we're doing it just right for you.

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'Because I know how my faith helps me

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'understand people who have a belief,

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'not particularly a religious belief,

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'I'm able to actually explore a bit more sensitively.'

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The team are just amazing.

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I'm getting a bit upset. It's...

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It's rather wonderful, it really is.

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-Well, I know that you're an inspiration for me.

-Aw, thank you.

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I believe that the Holy Spirit is within each breath, and, um,

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when it's difficult to actually stop and think sometimes,

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when you just feel it's getting a bit much,

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we have to actually take that moment to take a breath in and out

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and think, that's God's breath,

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that's the Holy Spirit coming in and out.

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Come, Holy Spirit of God.

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Renew us with your grace and fill us with your love,

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that your creation may sing of your glory.

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Amen.

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Amen.

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And may the spirit of truth lead you into all truth,

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and give you grace to confess

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that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

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And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father,

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the Son and the Holy Spirit come down upon you and remain with you always.

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-Amen.

-Amen.

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# Steal away

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# Steal away

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# Steal away to Jesus

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# Steal away

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# Steal away home

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# I ain't got long to stay here

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# My Lord, he calls me

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# He calls me by the thunder

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# The trumpet sounds within my soul

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# I ain't got long to stay here

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# Steal away

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# Steal away

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# Steal away to Jesus

0:29:130:29:19

# Steal away

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# Steal away home

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# I ain't got long to stay here

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# Green trees are bending

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# Oh sinners stand a-trembling

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# The trumpet sounds within my soul

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# I ain't got long to stay here

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# Steal away

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# Steal away

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# Steal away to Jesus

0:30:070:30:14

# Steal away

0:30:140:30:17

# Steal away home

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# I ain't got long to stay here

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# I ain't got long

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# To stay, stay, stay, stay, stay

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# Here. #

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Well, I hope you've been inspired by the message of Pentecost,

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the incredible people we've met, the stunning art,

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and of course, the music.

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I've loved being in Leicester

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and Songs Of Praise will be back in this great city

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later on in the year, but until then,

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we leave you with our final hymn, Breathe On Me, Breath Of God.

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Before we go, I have exciting news

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of this year's Big Sing recording at the Royal Albert Hall

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on Sunday, 14 September.

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We'll be singing fabulous hymns and Christmas carols.

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It's going to be a wonderful evening.

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The phone lines and box office will be open from 9:00am tomorrow.

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Please don't try calling now.

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The number to call is...

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Calls cost up to 5p a minute from most landlines.

0:33:090:33:12

Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.

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You'll find the telephone number

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and more information on the Songs of Praise website...

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If you can't make it, don't worry.

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You'll have a front row seat

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by watching on the BBC wherever you are.

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Next week, we celebrate fathers and fatherhood.

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Claire meets up with hymn writers, Keith and Kristyn Getty

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and there's also music from Matt Redman.

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We'll also have some great Father's Day hymns

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from St Patrick's Church in Jordanstown.

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Diane Louise Jordan celebrates the birthday of the church with dance group Rebirth and Christians from the Indian and Pakistani communities in Leicester who are breathing new life into an old church. Plus hymns ancient and modern from the city's stunning cathedral.


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