Tour de France Songs of Praise


Tour de France

The world's most famous cycle race begins in God's own county so Connie and Claire find out how Yorkshire is planning on welcoming the hundreds of cyclists.


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God's own county -

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a place of beauty, rugged landscapes

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and industrial glory and, in the next seven days,

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home to the world's biggest annual sporting event.

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Yes, for the first time in its history,

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the Tour de France will be coming to town

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to kick off its 21 days of racing.

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I'll be cycling some of the route to find out how a peel

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of church bells will be heralding the start of the race.

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And I'm joining Connie to mark the big event too.

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I want to find out how Yorkshire won the bid

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and find out more about how faith and belief

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were key to making it happen.

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Plus our new Songs Of Praise family face their own biking challenge

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and we have hymns and performances from across the country

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to inspire and encourage as we celebrate this festival of cycling.

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So, come and join the ride as we take

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a trip around the route of le Grand Depart. Allez, allez!

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An estimated four million spectators will descend on these roads

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over the next few days as they attempt to catch

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a glimpse of their sporting heroes whizz past

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as they try to become the next wearer of that famous yellow jersey.

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From cobbled streets to the longest continuous incline in England,

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these roads will, over two days, present the riders

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with 242 miles of challenges, as well as some beautiful

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backdrops, not least of which will be the churches along the route.

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The area's blessed with some of the country's finest, one of which is

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Halifax Minster, the venue for our first hymn, Immortal, Invisible.

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Welcome to The Tour de France 100 Days Gala Dinner.

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It's a chilly night in March

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and Ripon Cathedral has been chosen

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to play a key role in le Tour of Yorkshire as tonight it hosts

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the 100 day dinner which starts

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the countdown to the Tour de France arriving.

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The great and good of Yorkshire

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and beyond have come out to start the official countdown

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and that includes the man whose decision it was to come to Yorkshire.

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Tour de France Director, Christian Prudhomme.

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I've made hundreds of speeches for le Tour, but it's the first

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night of my life I have to make a speech in a cathedral.

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AUDIENCE CHEERS

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Why did we choose Yorkshire? Because Yorkshire is gorgeous!

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APPLAUSE

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And someone who has more reason than most to be proud that

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the greatest cycle race in the world is coming to town is Gary Verity...

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I am delighted to welcome our friends from France here tonight...

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..for this event is the culmination of years of hard work and determination.

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I came here just over a year ago

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and saw the cathedral one Friday evening where there was

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a choir practice going on over here,

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and went down to the crypt, probably only four or five of us,

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and the late dean of the cathedral kindly blessed the Tour and us.

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It was a very special moment.

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And we'll be hearing more from Gary later on in the programme

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when I go to meet him at his farm.

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But now for our next hymn we stay at the magnificent Ripon Cathedral.

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They do say the best way to see Yorkshire is by bike

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and I'd have to agree.

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It's absolutely beautiful and I'm in good company in these parts

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as Yorkshire has produced many of the country's top cyclists.

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Brian Robinson was the first British man

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to win his stage of the Tour de France, and Lizzie Armitstead, born in Otley,

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is a silver Olympic medallist.

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And possibly the most successful yet least well-known of them all,

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the late Beryl Burton.

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Leeds-born Burton was holder of the title of Britain's best

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all-round cyclist for 25 years. She still holds the women's record for

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the fastest time over 12 hours, set over 40 years ago in 1967.

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And fast times are what competitors like Mark Cavendish

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and last year's tour winner, Chris Froome, are hoping to get

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when they race through towns such as Ilkley

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and it's the tune of the song

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made famous by that town that O For A Thousand Tongues has been set to.

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For centuries, bells have rang out to mark notable occasions

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and it's no different for this year's Tour de France.

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-Hey! Hello.

-Hi, Connie.

-Hiya, how are you?

-Welcome to Otley.

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You must be Rod.

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-I'm meeting Rod Ismay, who's going to tell me more.

-Come on in.

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Rod, you are the brains behind the bells ringing for the Tour de France.

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Is this the first time it's happened?

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It's going to be the first time in a sort of co-ordinated manner.

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So, sometimes in France you'll hear bells ringing as the cyclists are

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coming past but this is the first time we've got a concerted

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attempt to get organised towers along the race route ringing

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to celebrate the race approaching.

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So how many churches are taking part?

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There's about 30 churches that are close to the race route,

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so as many of those as possible are going to be

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ringing on the morning as the race comes through. Yeah.

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So what inspired you to create a new soundtrack for the Tour de France?

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Erm, a love of bells, a love of cycling

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and the chance with the world's biggest annual sporting event,

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the biggest instruments that we could

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and what better thing than really English sounds to welcome the cyclists?

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-I've never rung bells before, but Rod's going to let me have a go.

-OK, Connie.

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He's taking me up the bell tower where Meg is going to show me the ropes.

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-Right, here we are, Connie. Welcome to Otley belfry.

-This is amazing!

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-It's like a little den. Hello.

-Hello.

-Hi.

-This is Meg.

-Hi, Meg.

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-Hi, nice to meet you.

-Right, onto the little box.

-Left hand there.

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-On the sally?

-Yes. Tail end, tail end.

-On the tail end?

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This is the tail end.

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And then right hand just above it as if you're doing one potato, two potato, like that. OK?

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Now then, what you're going to do is you're just going to...

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Nice and straight. ..you're going to pull it

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-straight down in front of you and I'm going to catch the sally.

-OK.

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-Don't let go unless I say so.

-OK.

-You'll be fine.

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OK. Bit nervous.

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OK, so first of all, just pull it gently, plenty of strength

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-until you feel it coming to the balance point.

-Oooh! It's heavy!

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And then pull straight down and I'll catch it.

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BELL CHIMES

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Perfect! OK?

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We'll do it again. I'm going to pull the hands through it,

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and it'll take your hands up to back stroke.

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-OK.

-Off we go.

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BELL CHIMES

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OK, and again.

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BELL CHIMES

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-OK.

-I see. It's quite a natural movement, isn't it?

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Well, if you feel it's natural, that means you're probably a natural ringer.

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-Yay!

-Off you go, that's it.

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So, how much of a musician do you need to be?

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You don't need to be a musician.

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It helps if you've got a good ear

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so you can hear the sound of your own bell.

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You do need a sense of rhythm

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and you need a good sense of co-ordination.

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Well, I think I'm going to stop now and leave it to the professionals

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-because I think I'm better at cow bells than ringing.

-You're a natural.

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-I'm a natural!

-Come and learn any time you like.

-Thank you.

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# Come all you vagabonds

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# Come all you don't belongs

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# Winners and losers

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# Come people like me

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# Come all you travellers

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# Tired from the journey

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# Come wait a while stay a while

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# Welcome you'll be

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# Come all you questioners

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# Looking for answers

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# And searching for reasons

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# And sense in it all

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# Come all you fallen

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# And come all you broken

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# Find strength for your body

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# And food for your soul

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# Come to the feast

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# There is room at the table

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# Come let us meet in this place

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# With the King of all kindness

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# Who welcomes us in

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# With the wonder of love

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# And the power of grace

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# The wonder of love

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# And the power of grace

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# Come those who worry

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# 'Bout houses and money

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

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# From every station

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# And orientation

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# The helpless, the hopeless

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# The young and the old

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# Come to the feast

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# There is room at the table

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# Come let us meet in this place

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# With the King of all kindness

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# Who welcomes us in

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# With the wonder of love

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# And the power of grace

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# The wonder of love

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# And the power of grace

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# Come all believers

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# And dreamers and schemers

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# And come all you restless

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# Just searching for home

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# Movers and shakers

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# And givers and takers

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# The happy, the sad

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# The lost and alone

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# Come self-sufficient

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# With wearied ambition

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

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# Fiery debaters

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# And religion haters

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# Accusers, abusers

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# The hurt and ignored

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# Come to the feast

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# There is room at the table

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# Come let us meet in this place

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# With the King of all kindness

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# Who welcomes us in

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# With the wonder of love

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# And the power of grace

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# The wonder of love

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# And the power of grace

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# The wonder of love

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# And the power of grace. #

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They're hungry, Gary.

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Gary Verity heads up Yorkshire's Tourist Board

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and their authentic brand of charm seems to have struck a chord

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with the Tour de France committee.

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So, tell me, Gary,

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this is where you first brought the Tour de France people.

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Yes, so, the helicopter would have landed.

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-We borrowed a helicopter off a friend.

-Uh-huh.

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-And they would have landed here.

-Right.

-Where we're stood.

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So I mowed a giant Y for the helicopter to land on so

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they could see the Y for Yorkshire from the sky as they came over.

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Gary's idea to bid for the Grand Depart, the opening two stages,

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wasn't entirely met with universal approval.

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Oh, I think people thought I was crackers

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and I think when we first broached the French, they were very polite.

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We were a real outsider in terms of bidding for the Grand Depart.

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What was it about your faith that got you through the journey?

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Well, I think it's about conviction

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and it's about if you believe in something

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and you have a faith, that can help sustain you

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when the road gets rocky.

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And we had many twists and turns along the journey

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and many moments when we weren't sure what the outcome might be.

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But if you have that underlying faith, I think that's a great

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thing to keep you sane and help you to continue on your journey.

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Stanley, we're here! Here, Stanley!

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Gary, it's er...all hands to the pump on the farm here.

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-How does this differ to your day job?

-Erm...

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-Or your other day job, should I say.

-Well, completely different.

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I mean, this is a real leveller.

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The sheep couldn't care less who you've been talking to

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-or where you've been.

-It keeps you grounded.

-Yeah.

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-He's full.

-He IS full, isn't he?

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He's not bothered, Stanley, are you? No, he's very full.

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Oh, bless him.

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Our feeding duties over and I was wondering what Gary thinks

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the competitors will remember most about their time here.

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I think they'll be taken away by the stunningness of Yorkshire and how

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close to God we are in Yorkshire, you know, there is

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a spiritual thing about being in this county.

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You can't quite put your finger on it but you certainly...

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You feel that atmosphere when you're here.

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But it can't just be its beauty that

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convinced the Tour to choose Yorkshire.

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I'm keen to find out what else persuaded them.

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The first stage is an undulating stage.

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It won't particularly trouble the professional riders

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and it's designed for a sprinter to be able to win Harrogate.

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The second stage is just the opposite. It's very hilly.

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There are nine categorised climbs

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for the King of the Mountains' jersey.

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There are 12 further climbs that are uncategorised

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so never in the history of 111 years of the Tour de France has

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there been such a tough opening stage.

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Quite different to what they're used to

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so next Sunday night going into Sheffield,

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around the world, people will know why the Tour came to Yorkshire.

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Over this summer, we're following an ordinary Christian family

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to find out what life is like for everyday Christians in 21st-century Britain.

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And considering what's going to be happening next weekend,

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right here in Yorkshire, we've sent them to their local cycle centre.

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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 to

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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 find out

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how their Christian faith is woven into their lives.

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Morning. My name's Iain.

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I hear you're quite keen cyclists so today,

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we're going to push you a little bit harder

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and we're going to introduce you to a road-racing bike with

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the idea of doing a little kind of mini Tour de France

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time trial at the end of the session. How does that sound to you?

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-Frightening.

-OK, good!

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We're going to get you all kitted out with helmets and bikes

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-and get you going.

-Lovely.

-Oh, good.

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We're all very excited because we really enjoy cycling

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and riding our bikes and we're looking forward to the challenge.

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So, the aim of today is for the family to get used to the bikes,

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and then against the clock,

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see who can take on the 1KM of racetrack in the fastest time.

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Easy for people who love nothing more than an afternoon family cycle ride.

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Keep your head up, ride in a straight line. That's it.

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Good. Try your breaks now before...

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It soon becomes apparent

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though that they're not as confident on two wheels as they first thought.

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Oh, Charlotte! Oh! Off again.

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When we do ride bikes, we ride over very flat country, so we're not

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used to doing anything really that involves bends or hills or

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-curves or anything, really.

-Nothing whizzy, is it?

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No, it's just a straightforward flat run.

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Keep your head up! Keep your head up! Ride in a straight line.

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That's it. Good.

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I was quite terrified.

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I thought I was going to have an accident and go down the hill

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and never be seen again.

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-Oh, no! What is she doing? Where is she going? I can't watch.

-I really liked it!

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-Did you see my face when you were going down that hill?

-No!

-No?

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Probably just as well.

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Yeah, we were a bit worried about you doing it, I have to say.

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-I think the instructor was a little bit worried about you doing it at one point.

-Yeah.

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And things just went from bad to worse.

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When I fell off, I sort of got a bit worried

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and I felt that my confidence sort of went out a bit.

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I sort of panicked a bit and as me,

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I sort of panic a bit and when I panic, it goes wrong.

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When there are times that we do fall off, we feel that God is

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on our side and that God is telling us to never give up and carry on.

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Over you go! Keep going, keep going, keep practising it.

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Two hours in and even though Sophie is back on the bike...

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-Sophie, slow yourself down!

-Slow down!

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..Iain is very uneasy about the family taking on the track

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and the time trial.

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You did everything wrong then.

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Even though you got round,

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I don't know how you did manage to get round in one piece. OK?

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So, first of all, you were hugging the kerb, so you didn't go wide.

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Second thing is you kept on pedalling round the corner

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and you didn't break, and you weren't really

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looking where you were going either so everything wrong.

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-But then something changed.

-Go on, Charlotte!

-Go on, Charlotte!

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-There has to be an element of...

-Trust.

-Trust, yeah.

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Trust in something but ultimately,

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trust in God that God will protect us throughout.

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The challenge, which was looking shaky at first, was on.

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Mostly, I carried on doing it by my faith in God.

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If I hadn't believed, I could've just stumbled

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-and lost all confidence.

-Absolutely.

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Go on, Sophie!

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When I went on the bike, I felt like God was watching over us

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and protecting us.

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-One shot off the line! One shot off the line.

-Go, go! Woooh!

-Yay!

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Congratulations, guys. Well done on your little time trial today. Winners are...

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It's a joint between...

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Martin and Sophie.

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And I will present you with your own special Tour de France yellow Jersey.

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Oh, wow! That's wonderful!

0:26:560:26:58

We'll let Sophie have it seeing as she's the best improver.

0:26:580:27:00

Once we got over the fear element, we got on and did it.

0:27:000:27:03

We really enjoyed it and it gave us

0:27:030:27:05

a tremendous sense of achievement and we'd like to do it again.

0:27:050:27:08

-Well done, Sophie!

-Yay!

-Congratulations.

0:27:080:27:13

# Amen

0:29:330:29:38

# Amen

0:29:380:29:43

# Amen

0:29:430:29:48

# Amen

0:29:480:29:52

# Amen

0:29:520:29:57

# Amen .#

0:29:570:30:08

Well, we finally made it to Harrogate, Connie,

0:30:150:30:17

where of course the first yellow jersey will be won.

0:30:170:30:20

Absolutely, Claire.

0:30:200:30:21

I had no idea that Yorkshire would be that beautiful.

0:30:210:30:24

OR that bell ringing could be that difficult.

0:30:240:30:26

Well, that's it from Yorkshire.

0:30:290:30:30

We end by paying a fitting tribute to the beautiful scenery

0:30:300:30:33

that surrounds us in this green and pleasant land. Until next time.

0:30:330:30:37

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

-Is this really how they expect us to get home, Connie?

0:30:370:30:41

Just start pedalling, Claire.

0:30:410:30:42

-Can you steer this thing?!

-How far is it?

0:30:440:30:50

Next week, it's another chance to see

0:33:070:33:09

The Big Sing from London's Royal Albert Hall.

0:33:090:33:12

Join Bill Turnbull

0:33:120:33:13

and a host of guest stars including Michael Ball, Andrea Begley

0:33:130:33:17

and an audience of 5,000 voices as he reveals

0:33:170:33:20

the results of last year's vote to find the UK's favourite hymns.

0:33:200:33:24

The world's most famous cycle race begins in God's own county so Connie and Claire get on their bikes to find out how Yorkshire is planning on welcoming the hundreds of cyclists and the thousands of fans. They discover how the region's churches are getting involved and there are rousing hymns and performances inspired by sporting endeavours.


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