The Year Ahead Songs of Praise


The Year Ahead

Dan Walker looks ahead to the big events of 2012, talks to Lord Coe about the Olympic and Paralympic Games and meets a chorister who sang at the Queen's coronation.


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BIG BEN CHIMES THE HOUR

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We're a week into the new year and it should be a memorable one for all of us.

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The eyes of the world are going to be on this great city and its most famous resident.

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That's as the Olympic Games come to town,

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and also we prepare for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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Now, the view from down here is quite good already

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but if you get up there it's even better.

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So this week we meet the golden man behind the Games.

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We hear what it's like to sing at the Queen's coronation.

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And there's music from across the country.

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From up here, you get the perfect view of London,

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a city that's at the very heart of some of the biggest events of 2012.

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You'll have to trust me on this,

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but the Olympic Park is over there somewhere.

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It's a huge year for sport and, for someone like me,

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who you might have spotted on your Football Focus sofa on the BBC,

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personally, I can't wait for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games

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as part of London 2012.

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Down there is Buckingham Palace

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and Her Majesty the Queen has got quite a big bash lined up

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in June of this year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

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This week, we look forward to some of those huge events of the next 12 months

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and we meet some of the people behind them.

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All our music has been chosen with these events in mind.

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Our first hymn reflects on the years that have passed

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and the belief that God is with us every step of the way.

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This year people around the world

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will be celebrating a very special occasion.

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60 years ago, the young Princess Elizabeth's life

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would change for ever when she became Queen.

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A year later, it was her coronation and it took place here at Westminster Abbey.

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# Zadok the Priest

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# And Nathan the Prophet

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# Anointed Solomon King. #

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There were over 7,000 people crammed into this amazing building,

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each one of them craning to catch a glimpse of the new Queen.

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# And all the people rejoic'd

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# Rejoic'd... #

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It was so spectacular and so wonderful

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that I don't think at the age of 10 I was really able to grasp it,

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but in terms of the occasion, the pageantry,

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the music, the spectacle,

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it was a wonderful day.

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David Overton was a chorister in Westminster Abbey Choir

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and one of the youngest people at the coronation.

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We had to be in the Abbey as choristers very early, about eight o'clock,

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and it was some time before the ceremony started, before the Queen arrived.

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We had been given sandwiches, ham sandwiches,

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and barley sugars and an apple.

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We found that in our cassock pocket.

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But of course that was meant to last us through the day,

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through the eight hours that we were going to be in the Abbey.

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It lasted us about half an hour! We polished those off.

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Even now, so many years on, do you still feel privileged

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that you were able to be there and be part of that great day?

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Yes, but the privilege was not just being part of the coronation.

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The privilege was being in the choir,

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being a chorister in Westminster Abbey,

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which is the most wonderful start of any musical life,

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of a spiritual life,

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and it's not just the coronation that you take away with you,

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it's the joy of singing every day for five years

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in one of the most wonderful churches

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with one of the most wonderful musical traditions in the world.

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# For ever, for ever, for ever

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# Amen, Amen

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# Allelujah, allelujah. #

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As well as lasting memories,

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David also has some personal treasures from that special day.

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Well, this is my coronation book.

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This has got the words and the music of everything I sang on the day,

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-one or two autographs of the people who I thought were important.

-Did you get the Queen in there?

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-No, I'm afraid I haven't got the Queen.

-There's still time!

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Here we are, the wonderful introduction of Zadok The Priest,

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sung every coronation since George II in 1727.

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So that is your actual coronation book from which we sang.

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This is the coronation medal.

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All the choristers, all the singers

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and all the participants got one of these.

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-I'm interested to know who's written this in here.

-That is my dear mother's writing.

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As soon as the medal arrived, she wrote my name on it.

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When you look back now, is there a single moment

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that you remember, that you cherish, that you will never forget?

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At the coronation service, one of the prayers that's in the red book

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talks about grant the Queen a long life, grant her a long reign.

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Well, that prayer has been granted and how magnificently has the Queen,

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60 years later, continued to do such a wonderful job?

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Our next hymn was part of that coronation service all those years ago

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and I'm sure it will be sung up and down the country

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in Jubilee celebrations this year too.

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The lighting of beacons dates back many centuries.

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First used as a warning of invasion,

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they now take on a more ceremonial role, marking significant occasions like the millennium.

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This year our skies will be alight once more.

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Well, on 4th June we are aiming to light 2,012 beacons

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across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Commonwealth,

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the overseas realms, in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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Bruno Peek's been responsible for planning many beacon ceremonies,

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but this year lighting so many beacons will be an extra special challenge.

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One of the things we're very keen on is getting the Church involved

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right across the nation in lighting beacons.

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So they'll be on village greens, on church towers,

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on high hilltops, all different manner of locations.

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The beauty of the event is that we have so many different types of people taking part,

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from schools to those who own stately homes, to the man in the street.

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It's really interesting the numbers and different types of communities

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bringing the country together in one common celebration.

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Where you've got people coming together through celebration or even through sad times,

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a flickering flame is such a symbol

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of bringing people together in peace and friendship.

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As Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever believes in me will never walk in darkness."

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And if you believe in our monarch, what a wonderful way to celebrate

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through coming together, through fire and through light,

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because it's always been a great symbol of peace and friendship.

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So when people see that light burning,

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it really touches their hearts.

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Just think, our Queen will be standing there on that night

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and she'll be thinking to herself, "Look, these 2,012 communities are coming together.

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"They've taken all this time, all these months,

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"all these years to plan this celebration just for me."

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What a wonderful feeling.

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# The light of the world made history begin

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# Spoke time into being Caused planets to spin

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# Flung galaxies wide through infinite space

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# To sing of his splendour and fathomless grace

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# Come, come, daughters and sons

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# Look to the light of the world

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# Sing, sing praises to him

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# Simply believe you will receive

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# Mercy and love without measure

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# The light of the world preached justice for all

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# Defying the proud and defending the poor

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# Then humbled himself to death on a cross

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# To crush the oppressor and rescue the lost

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# Come, come, daughters and sons

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# Look to the light of the world

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# Sing, sing praises to him

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# Simply believe you will receive

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# Mercy and love without measure

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# The light of the world still shines on the earth

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# With gifts of forgiveness The hope of new birth

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# So open your heart Don't hide in the night

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# Step out of the darkness and into his light

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# Come, come daughters and sons

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# Look to the light of the world

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# Sing, sing praises to him

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# Simply believe you will receive

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# Mercy and love without measure

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# Mercy and love without measure. #

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It's hard to believe it's almost seven years since we heard this news.

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The Games of the 30th Olympiad in 2012 are awarded

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to the city of London!

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That's one of those days you always remember where you were,

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and after years in the making we're almost there.

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You can see the Olympic Park is very much taking shape behind us here.

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You get the idea that something big is going to happen here rather soon.

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The Games will feature a huge variety of sports, from archery to wrestling.

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Here at the amazing Aquatic Centre, the great British public

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will get the chance to cheer on diver Tom Daley,

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who will do his business down there.

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And someone who knows what it's like to win gold at the Olympic Games

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is Lord Coe.

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-I thought I'd see you here.

-How are you?

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-Its 2012, the year is here.

-Not long now.

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So in terms of nerves, worries, are you happy that we're now in 2012

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and you can almost think about it being this year?

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-This is the year of the Olympics.

-It's quite a sobering thought.

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We've done the countdown from seven years.

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Then when we were bidding it was a couple more years on top of that.

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Really, now we're not counting in years.

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We're barely counting in weeks and months now. So it's close.

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It's quite a responsibility that thousands in here,

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billions watching at home, around the world,

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and their memories of 2012, how they remember this year,

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may well be down to what they see achieved in this very place.

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Oh, I hope that we are able to say to you that we delivered a fantastic Games, great sport.

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That tends to happen when the best athletes of their generation come head to head.

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I guess I see this through the eyes of a former competitor,

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because every time you see an athlete walk out here during a Games,

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you have to remember that

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they've probably given up, devoted, half their young lives to that one moment.

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So you can't by conscience give them anything other

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than the very best level of service that you can possibly provide them.

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It's not just athletes who are preparing.

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The Church is also getting ready to champion the Games.

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This is a great opportunity for the Church

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to be seen to be doing what it's good at.

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What the Church is really good at is giving care and hospitality

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and concern to the community.

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The Church in this country is the largest provider of voluntary services

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and when the Games comes along the Church will do what it's good at.

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We've got this great project called the Athlete Family Homestay

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which makes it possible for the families of athletes to stay and be hosted in homes.

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They couldn't otherwise come and watch their family members take part.

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We launched it last year with a great do in Trafalgar Square,

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with real excitement.

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It's something that if you've just got a room

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and can be hospitable and kind and caring and welcome people,

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it's a real gift to the Games from the churches.

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Our next piece of music, sung by previous school choir finalists,

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sums up the spirit of the Olympics.

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Once the Olympics is finished,

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it's the turn of our Paralympians to go for gold.

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This year is really exciting.

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We found out in 2005 that the Olympics and Paralympics

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were going to be held in London, and ever since then

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we've all known what the long-term goal would be

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and we've been working really hard ever since then

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to get ourselves to a position where we could represent Great Britain

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and give a really good account of ourselves in London.

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So we're really excited.

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Goalball was devised as rehabilitation

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for visually impaired World War II soldiers

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and now is one of the most popular sports at the Paralympics.

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Goalball is a really fun game to play.

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It's really fast-paced and energetic.

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It's really challenging, especially when you're new to the sport,

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because you're having to use different senses.

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Having shades on for the first time for many people is a great challenge.

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Just being able to orientate themselves around court

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and listen to the bells in the ball can be really difficult.

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So it's a really different sort of sport.

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How did you personally get into goalball?

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I got into goalball when I was 16.

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I went to a boarding school for visually impaired people just for sixth form.

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They played it there and that's where I discovered goalball for the first time.

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I hadn't heard of it before.

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I played it once, absolutely fell in love,

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and very quickly became totally obsessed with it.

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As a Christian, is there a spiritual element

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to the way that you play or think about playing your sport?

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I very much see goalball as my way of showing worship to God.

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I believe that some people are gifted with talents like singing

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or can produce amazing pieces of art.

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Sport and particularly goalball is my talent

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and I love being able to put my all into that talent

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and investing in it as much as I can.

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I definitely feel that I'm playing my best goalball

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when I'm in tune with the Holy Spirit.

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When I have made my prayers before the start of a game,

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I definitely feel a relaxation that I don't feel if I forget to do that.

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How important is it for you to have a sport that you can be so clearly deeply involved in?

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I went through a phase in life when I was about 12 or 13

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where I really wanted to be healed

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and I didn't want to be visually impaired.

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I remember going to church a few times and praying with the vicar about it,

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believing that I would be healed.

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Obviously I wasn't.

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But I definitely feel that from that moment onwards

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God was with me in all of the key decisions

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and it brought me to where I am now.

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Actually I am really glad that I can't see very well

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because it meant that I would be able to play goalball, go to the Paralympics.

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If I'd been healed of my sight I wouldn't have met my wife

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and, yes, it's just turned out so much better than I ever could have dreamed when I was 13.

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Thank you, Lord, for the service our Queen has given during the past 60 years,

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for her unswerving sense of duty and her loyalty to our country,

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setting an example to her people

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through her graciousness and Christian values.

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Lord, we pray for those who are preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Lead us towards the love of Christ, who is more than gold,

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today and forever. Amen.

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# Deep peace of the running wave to you

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# Deep peace of the flowing air to you

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# Deep peace of the quiet earth to you

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# Deep peace of the shining stars to you

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# Deep peace of the gentle nights to you

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# Moon and stars pour their healing light on you

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# Deep peace of Christ

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# Of Christ, the light of the world to you

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# Deep peace of Christ to you. #

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So we've looked at some of the big events of 2012

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and hopefully you'll get to go to some of those yourself.

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It's not just about the showpiece events,

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also those moments which are far more personal.

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Our final hymn looks back with thanks at what God has given us

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and looks forward with hope.

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Next week Aled is on a magical mystery tour of Calderdale.

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He explores the unique landscape of this part of West Yorkshire

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using unusual means of transport.

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And there are some wonderful hymns from Halifax Minster.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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E-mail [email protected]

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Dan Walker looks forward to the major national events of 2012, talks to Lord Coe about the Olympic and Paralympic Games and meets a chorister who sang at the Queen's coronation. There are also hymns and songs, for the start of a new year, from around the country.


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