BBC's Sunday Worship from Heythrop College

Sunday Worship on BBC Radio 4 last weekend came from  Heythrop College, University of London. The programme celebrated the Jesuit college's 400-year-history, under the title 'A Harvest of Souls'.

The liturgy was led by Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, who is a Senior Lecturer in Pastoral and Social Studies and Theology at Heythrop; Dr Damian Howard SJ who teaches Christian-Muslim relations preached on the qualities required of an effective preacher. During the programme, they looked back on Heythrop College's 400 years of training priests and laity for ministry, recalled some of its alumni, reflected on the theme of harvest and celebrated the tradition of prayerfulness which is a hallmark of Jesuit spirituality. Prayers were also offered for the British hostage murdered in Syria, Alan Henning, and his family.

Music in the programme included a hymn by Scottish Jesuit hymnwriter, Fr James Quinn SJ who died in 2010, and a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ, based on a prayer attributed to St Francis Xavier. The highly acclaimed youth chamber choir, 'Inner Voices', which is made up of singers from inner London state schools, was directed by Ralph Allwood. The programme concluded with an organ voluntary by Domenico Zipoli SJ, the Italian Baroque composer who worked in the Reductions of Paraguay and who is recognised as the most accomplished musician among Jesuit missionaries. The programme was produced by Rowan Morton Gledhill.

Sunday Worship, 'A Harvest of Souls', broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday, 5 October 2014, is available on BBC iPlayer.   

Photo: Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ talks with (l to r) Provincial Fr Dermot Preston SJ, Father General Adolfo Nicolás SJ and the Principal of Heythrop College, Fr Michael Holman SJ, at the Conference to mark the College's 400th anniversary in 2014. (Credit: Ruth Morris)