Belfast Telegraph

Nautical youths share stories of faith for BBC's Songs of Praise

By Staff Reporter

A cross-border youth voyage is set to feature on the BBC's popular Songs of Praise religious programme.

The young Atlantic Youth Trust crew from Northern Ireland and the Republic sailed from Drogheda to Carlingford Lough on board the 'Brian Boru', where they were met by the Songs of Praise film crew on Saturday morning.

Over the course of the afternoon they sailed up the lough with the film crew on board, discussing their experiences on the ship and what faith means to them.

The programme, which is expected to be viewed by more than a million regular viewers of the long-running religious show, will be presented by Co Antrim broadcaster Claire McCollum.

The Atlantic Youth Trust is a maritime charity which aims to bring young people from Northern Ireland and the Republic together for youth development voyages on a purpose-built tall ship.

It plays a significant role in furthering peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.

The Brian Boru is a magnificently-restored gaff-rigged wooden sailing ketch, which has been specifically adapted for carrying passengers on voyages of discovery of heritage and wildlife.

The ship is normally based in Waterford.

Speaking about the Songs of Praise voyage, Atlantic Youth Trust Executive Director Neil O'Hagan said: "We spent the day on Saturday sailing around the breathtaking Carlingford Lough on Brian Boru. The idyllic setting, that is literally on the border, provided the perfect backdrop to explain what the Atlantic Youth Trust does - and to give the producers the chance to hear first hand from the young crew on board.

"Given the joint government support for the project this will only strengthen the overall case for developing and integrating young people on tall ships."

The Songs of Praise programme will be transmitted on Sunday, October 22, on BBC One.

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