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BBC works with ARC for special climate change Songs of Praise

May 11 2006:

“When the astronauts of Apollo 8 read the opening verses from the Book of Genesis they were enjoying a perspective few of us have enjoyed. But even if we can’t observe our vulnerable planet from space we can still marvel at the beauty of creation in its most epic, and minute, detail.”

This is the beginning of a special Songs of Praise, filmed from London, Oxford, Wells Cathedral and the Cotswolds village of North Stoke, with Sally Magnusson as presenter, to celebrate how Christians are contributing to the environment debate.

The programme, which comes as part of the BBC’s groundbreaking “Climate Chaos” season and which will be aired on May 28 on BBC1, includes an interview with ARC’s Martin Palmer. He talks about how a strong relationship with the natural world is an integral part of the Christian tradition, but one that has often been ignored.

Songs of Praise. Photograph copyright BBC
The segment is filmed partly at Wells Cathedral’s medieval Chapter House - whose stone walls are exuberant with carvings of trees and fruit and animals, in a 700-year old celebration of creation – and partly at the Somerset church of St Martin’s at North Stoke, with its 800 year-old yew tree.

The programme also includes coverage of the Stop Climate Chaos event, filmed in Westminster Central Hall on March 1st, in which members of Christian development charity, Tearfund, discussed their deep concerns about climate change with leading British politicians, and a visit by presenter Sally Magnusson to an environmental project in The Church of Saint Mary and Saint John in Oxford, called Eco-Creation, that has made a real difference to the local community.

The hymns come from the Saint Michael’s Singers, the Coventry Singers and the Adventist Vocal Ensemble and include Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation, Beauty for Brokenness, For the beauty of the earth and the gospel hymn Down in the River to Pray .

"As we think about the environmental problems we face it can seem hard to discern what we can do. But it’s important to remember that if we act together little things can make a difference." Sally Magnusson: Songs of Praise May 28, 2006.
“This is the first time Songs of Praise has had the environment as its main theme,” said producer Garry Boon. “It’s a very important issue, and we wanted to show how the Churches and Christians have something vital to contribute.”

The programme is part of the BBC’s groundbreaking “Climate Chaos” season, which includes a two part series by David Attenborough on the question: Are We Changing Planet Earth?, current affairs documentary Five Disasters Waiting to Happen, the world’s largest climate change experiment and many other specially created programmes.



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