On Sunday 30th December, a special service recorded earlier this month at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship. Featuring music by Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir and the Jesuit Refugee Services UK Refugee Gospel Choir, the programme focuses on the Gospel passage that tells of the Holy Family's flight to Egypt.
By drawing on the Holy Family and its connections with the story of the Exodus and the voice of Rachel, the service reflects on the experience of the refugees and asylum seekers accompanied by JRS in the UK and the parallels between their lives and the readings we hear.
Led by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, parish priest at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, the service had been crafted with refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom read during the service and wrote the prayers.
Sarah Teather, Director of JRS UK, gives a reflection on the readings where she draws upon the stories of some of the friends accompanied by JRS - stories that echo the feelings and emotions heard in Jeremiah and the Flight to Egypt - and especially on the need to recognise the sufferings within the testimonies and open ourselves up to be moved by this.
She said: "we wanted the BBC broadcast to be shaped by and involve the refugees whose lives and experiences have shaped our perspective on the gospel story of the flight to Egypt."
"Our experience of accompanying refugees at JRS is that even in great difficulty God seems very present. We wanted to draw out these often surprising themes of hope and joy in suffering which are also found in the gospel passage. It was wonderful to be able to collaborate with Fr Dominic, Farm Street and Soul Sanctuary in this project and to see the joy on the faces of refugees singing in the choir. We hope the end result is as spiritually fruitful for the listener as it was for us to be involved in."
The recording will be broadcast on BBC RADIO 4 ON SUNDAY WORSHIP at 8.10am on Sunday 30th December.
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