Scotland's Big Year Songs of Praise


Scotland's Big Year

David Grant and Connie Fisher celebrate all things Scottish as they climb the Forth Road Bridge. With music from Dunfermline Abbey and Dunblane Cathedral.


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Transcript


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This week, we're heading across the Firth of Forth to celebrate

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some of Scotland's finest views.

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This is the very busy Forth Road Suspension Bridge just outside

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Edinburgh and this year it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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Just one in a host of Scottish landmarks this year including

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the Scottish referendum and the Commonwealth Games.

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So this week, we're celebrating all things Scottish, starting with this.

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Scottish engineering at its finest.

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Later we get a bit closer to this iconic structure, 500 feet up.

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And I'll be stretching my lungs with the bagpipes.

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So join us for a sing-a-long as we go to the top of the bridge

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to see some spectacular views.

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-Ready?

-I'm SO ready. Are you ready?

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-Yeah.

-Come on then!

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And to start us off rather appropriately, with views like this,

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I, The Lord Of Sea And Sky.

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As if I was ever going up there.

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500 feet up?

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You've got to be kidding me, right?

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Thanks for that, Connie. I'll do it on my own then.

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Say a prayer for me

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and I'll let you know what the view's like from up there.

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It may be the 50th anniversary of the bridge,

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but there's been a ferry here for over 800 years before that.

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The crossing is distinctly Christian in its heritage,

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originally for pilgrims travelling to

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Dunfermline Abbey in St Andrews back in the 11th century.

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Ten floors up in a lift and we're only part of the way there.

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We have to climb the rest.

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Building of the bridge began in the late 1950s.

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At the time, it was the biggest bridge outside America.

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A symbol of Britain's skill at civil engineering.

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The Road Bridge was set to symbolise a Scotland moving forward,

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even if the health and safety standards left a bit to be desired.

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Seven men died creating this feat of modern engineering and,

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apparently, they were paid danger money.

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The higher you worked, the more money you earned.

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I want to see if I can go right to the very top to get

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a feel for what it must have been like for them.

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This part of the climb was quite hard work but worth it.

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The view was quite literally breathtaking and left even me

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uncharacteristically lost for words.

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HE LAUGHS

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It's unbelievable!

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It's incredible to think that 60 years ago not a single

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rivet of this bridge was here.

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This is still one of the longest suspension bridges in Europe

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and, along with its older sister, the Rail Bridge behind me,

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is one of the man-made wonders of the modern world.

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About three or four miles that way is Dunfermline Abbey

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and on a clear day you can see it from here.

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And it's from there that our next hymn comes - Lord For The Years.

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Come in, David.

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BEEPING 'Can you hear me, Connie?'

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'I can.'

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'I'm right at the top of the world, it's amazing up here!'

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-Can you see me waving my hands? Can you see me?

-I can see him, can't I?

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-I can see you!

-'Can you see me jumping around?'

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(Don't jump!)

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It's amazing up here.

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-'Are you sure you don't want to change your mind?'

-No.

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HE LAUGHS

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It's all right for David, he's got a head for heights.

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But down here, you really get a sense of the size of the bridge

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and just how important it is to those who use it.

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And it's not just the bridge that's busy. 2014 is Scotland's big year,

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and it's a jam-packed calendar.

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There's the Scottish Referendum -

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an issue hotly debated here and across the border.

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The big vote is just a few weeks away,

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and no matter what the result,

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the event will enter the history books

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as a pivotal moment for Scotland.

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The Ryder Cup, the world's biggest golfing event,

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is coming to Gleneagles.

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And with 71 countries competing from across the world,

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the Commonwealth Games is in full swing.

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# Let all the world in every corner sing

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# Let all the world in every corner sing

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# My God and King!

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# The heavens are not too high

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# His praise may thither fly

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# The earth is not too low

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# His praises there may grow

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# Let all the world

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# Let all the world

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# Let all the world in every corner sing

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# Let all the world in every corner sing

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# My God and King!

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# The church with psalms must shout

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# No door can keep them out

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# But, above all, the heart must bear

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# The longest part

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# Let all the world in every corner Let all the world

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# Let all the world in every corner

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# Every corner sing

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# My God and King!

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# My God and King!

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# Let all the world in every corner sing

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# My God and King! #

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HYMN ENDS

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BAGPIPES PLAY "AMAZING GRACE"

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Scotland's national instrument, the iconic bagpipes,

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are still hugely popular today.

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And you're certainly likely to hear

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the unmistakable sound before you see them.

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Louise!

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Wow, that was Amazing...Grace!

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-Louise, that was amazing!

-Glad you enjoyed it.

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-You make it look so easy.

-Well, it takes time to learn.

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It takes time, yes. I've been playing a long time.

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How did you get into play the pipes?

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Well, my father was the piper down at Gretna Green for 44 years.

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So, I'm keeping the family Marshall tradition alive.

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Your dress, is that a special type of tartan?

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Well, this was actually made for the papal visit in September 2010.

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What was it like, playing for the Pope and meeting the Pope?

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It was such an honour. I couldn't believe that I was playing for him.

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He came past me and he held out his hand, and I was halfway through

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Amazing Grace, and I thought, "If I just had my bottom hand off,

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"I can play a certain amount of the tune," I held it for quite a while.

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And then I thought, "Oh, I really need it back now!" I took it back,

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and it worked out perfectly and I continued with Amazing Grace.

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-So, do you think you could teach me?

-Oh, but of course!

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-It looks like you've got potential.

-You think?! Let's give it a go.

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Right, OK. So, first of all, what we need to do, this is the bass drone.

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-We put the bass drone on your shoulder.

-Right.

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What you're going to do is, bring your left arm round,

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and you'll see, what we've got here is the pipe chanter.

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This is where you play the melody. This is the blow stick.

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-Oh!

-Be careful!

-A good start(!)

-BOTH LAUGH

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Start to blow into the bag.

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Now, you need to fill up the bag as full of air as you can.

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So, you've got to use the bottom of your diaphragm,

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give it lots of puff. Once it's filled with air,

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use your right hand to push the bag underneath your arm.

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-PIPES DRONE

-Well done, excellent!

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-We've got the drones going!

-WEAK WHEEZY DRONING

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Would you like me to blow for you?

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Oh, you do it! I'm going to pass out in a minute!

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You know, that was fantastic

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because not many people can even get the drones going.

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So, I think we're about three quarters of the way there, really.

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-OK, you puff and I'll play.

-DRONING

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BAGPIPE NOTE PLAYS

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-Are you ready?

-Yeah.

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OK!

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'Well, I think I need a bit more practice.

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'So, I'm leaving it to the professional.'

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PIPES PLAY "HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL"

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# I will sing the wondrous story

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# Of the Christ who died for me

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# How he left his home in glory

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# For the cross of Calvary

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# I was lost, but Jesus found me

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# Found the sheep that went astray

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# Threw his loving arms around me

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# Drew me back into his way

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# I was bruised, but Jesus healed me

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# Faint was I from many a fall

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# Sight was gone, and fears possessed me

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# But he freed me from them all

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# Days of darkness still come o'er me

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# Sorrow's path I often tread

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# But his presence still is with me

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# By his guiding hand I'm led

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# He will keep me till the river

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# Rolls its waters at my feet

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# Then he'll bear me safely over

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# All my joys in him complete

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# Yes, I'll sing the wondrous story

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# Of the Christ who died for me

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# Sing it with the saints in glory

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# Gathered by the crystal sea. #

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SONG ENDS

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Back at the bridge, I thought I'd seen the best views.

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But Gordon says the only way to really experience it

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is to get on your bike. And he should know,

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he's been cycling it almost daily for the past seven years.

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Gordon, nice to meet you.

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Now, you know this bridge more than most, don't you?

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Yeah, I've crossed it a few times in the last few years, that's for sure.

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How many times?

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Well, I reckon it's about 200 times a year for the last seven years.

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That's about 5,000 miles?

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You've done 5,000 miles?! Why?

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There's only one way to find out, and that's to try it for yourself.

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And, as it happens, I've brought a bike and a helmet for you.

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-You want me to cycle?

-I think you should.

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I hope you're a good teacher!

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HE LAUGHS

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-Have I got this the right way round?

-Yes.

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And once I've got the kit on right, we hit the bridge.

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Wow, this is amazing!

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For Gordon, this daily cycle

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over one of the most iconic bridges in Scotland

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is his chance to reflect on his faith and marvel at creation.

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I think a lot on my bike, more than I think anywhere else.

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When you're crossing the bridge on a nice morning and you see the sunrise,

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it starts to make me think about the Earth's place

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in the universe and about life.

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It just puts things in perspective.

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'And, after a few wobbly moments, I think I got what he meant.'

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Something really unexpected is happening.

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I've found myself smiling!

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You strike me as the sort of person that smiles a lot!

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'Although I never did quite master the bike he lent me for the ride!'

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RUMBLING

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HE LAUGHS

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I think I might have been better off walking the bridge

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rather than cycling it.

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And that's what hundreds of people do every year

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when they take part in the Bridge Cross,

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a fundraiser for Christian Aid.

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In its 42-year history, it's raised over £1 million.

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Today, it's a sponsored walk, but as a competitive runner,

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Gordon ran it many times and still holds the Bridge Cross record.

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-How many crossings have you ever done in a four-hour period?

-I've done 18.

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-18?! How many miles is that?

-I think it's about 27 or 28 miles.

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I've got to say, I just think that you are

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-maybe the fittest person I've ever met!

-Oh, no! I'm definitely not!

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# The wandering of a traveller

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# For many miles I've roamed

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# This spirit of adventure

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# Is ready for a home

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# I've been battered on the east side

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# I've been beaten to the west

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# And soon this ship is sailing

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# Towards a place of rest

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# So safe in your harbour

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# Where storms rage no more

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# A true sanctuary

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# At peace on your shore

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# A shadow of the beautiful

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# A world that is to come

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# The promise of a resting place

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# When all our work is done

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# I've been battered on the east side

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# I've been beaten to the west

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# And soon this ship is sailing

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# Towards a place of rest

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# So safe in your harbour

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# Where storms rage no more

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# A true sanctuary

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# At peace on your shore

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# So safe in your harbour

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# Where storms rage no more

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# A true sanctuary

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# At peace on your shore. #

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SONG ENDS

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The Corrs, a Catholic family from Essex.

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Earlier this year, they responded to our appeal for a family

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to take part in some of our programmes over the summer.

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The idea is that we set them some challenges so that you found out

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how their Christian faith is woven into their lives.

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This week, we've asked the Corrs

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to bring a little bit of Scotland to their home county of Essex.

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OK. "Your challenge is to transform this church hall

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"into a party to celebrate all things Scottish.

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"The South-East-Essex Scottish Society will be arriving at 4pm.

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"Good luck." I think we're going to need it...

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With just two hours before the guests were due to arrive,

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-it was time to get kilted...

-Fantastic!

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..start decorating, and cook.

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I think that an important part of my faith

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is to show people that I care by being hospitable.

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But Sam and Aimee had no idea what they were cooking.

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"You're serving tea, coffee, soft drinks and wine for your guests."

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Oh, goodness. "Cut haggis"!

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"Then you'll be serving traditional Scottish fare,

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"haggis with neeps and tatties."

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-Right, OK, let's wash our hands, come on.

-Oh, no! Haggis!

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When I thought of haggis, I just felt so, like, freaked out.

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'At first I didn't want to touch it and everything.'

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Lamb offal, oatmeal, onion, beef suet...

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So, it is offal, you were right.

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-What is it, lambs' guts or something?

-Don't think about it.

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It's a delicacy. It's going to be delicious.

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Especially with our whisky soup.

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Whilst Sam and Aimee got to grips with cooking haggis,

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Martin and the twins were busy getting the hall up to scratch.

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Don't forget to put the salt and pepper out.

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But time was running out.

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-And before they knew it...

-Hello!

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..family, friends and members of the South-East-Essex

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Scottish Society arrived en masse.

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Hi, I'm Graham.

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Hello, pleased to meet you.

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-We always bring a bottle.

-Oh! We'll hide that for later!

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-I like your kilt!

-So do I!

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'For us, the essential part of the party is welcoming the people,

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'making them feel like they're the centre of attention.

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'And I think, for me, that stems from my faith as a Christian.'

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Because Jesus tells us to love one another.

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And, at the centre of that, is respect for others.

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As grace is said, Scottish-style...

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"Some hae meat but cannae eat

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"Some would eat that want it."

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..it's the rest of the family who turn out 20 plates

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of haggis, neeps and tatties.

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It's all right! Go, go, go!

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-And the Scottish fare goes down a treat.

-It's lovely, isn't it?

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Giving food is a way of showing that you care about people.

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You're greeting people and saying, "Come to my table,

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"come and eat the food that I've prepared.

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"With my hands, I've done this. And I want you to share in it with me."

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Would anybody else like some more haggis?

0:25:550:25:58

'Actually doing something for your community,'

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people you wouldn't necessarily meet

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is a nice way to share your faith.

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And even Aimee tucked into the haggis.

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Try the haggis. It's quite nice.

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With everyone finally fed, there was just time

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for the Scots to show the Essex crowd how they do entertainment.

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TRADITIONAL CEILIDH MUSIC

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I always wonder how great God's creation is that there's over

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six billion people on the planet and every single one of us

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is different in some way.

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'We need to respect and celebrate that.'

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Give yourself a round of applause, you were brilliant! Well done!

0:26:350:26:38

APPLAUSE

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WEAK WHEEZING DRONING

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Music? This is nothing like music!

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You've created a whole new instrument - the bag drone.

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I've got to be honest, David,

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-I don't think bagpiping is really my bag.

-It's definitely not for you.

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Hey, cheeky, where's your bike?

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Oh, listen, if I never sit on another saddle again, it will be too soon.

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Have they told you that you're cycling home?

0:29:530:29:55

Please! I'd rather play the bagpipes! You play! Play!

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Seriously, we've had an awesome time in Scotland, haven't we?

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-It's been great!

-And we hope that you have, too.

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-We'll see you next time on Songs Of Praise.

-Bye-bye.

0:30:020:30:05

Next week, Bill visits St George's Memorial Church in Ypres, Belgium,

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to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War 100 years ago.

0:33:160:33:21

Classical chart-toppers Libera sing against the backdrop

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of the battlefields and uncover some of their own families' war stories.

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It's all things Scottish as the Scotland celebrates one of its most important years. Marking its 50th anniversary, David and Connie face climbing the mighty Forth Road Bridge just outside Edinburgh. Connie gives the bagpipes her best blows, and there is music from Dunfermline Abbey, Dunblane Cathedral and beyond.


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