Bringing Our Whole Selves to Worship: A Letter From the UK

Divine Renovation UK supported Angela, a parish worship leader from Blessed Hope Parish, Exeter, to attend the One Hope Project Academy this year. Her parish priest, Father Jonathan and their parish have been accompanied by DR for the last three years.

Contributor Angela Folland, UK  • Dec. 18, 2023

This past weekend I went to the One Hope Project weekend and ‘graduated’! The experience has been transformative – for my own faith and in the small steps we are beginning to take with liturgy and worship in the parish.  

One Hope Project Academy Weekend 2023

I moved to Blessed Sacrament parish in June 2019… I needed a change. As a family we had moved house and I was hungry for a deepening of my own faith. I know that Fr Jonathan is a great supporter of, and greatly supported by, DR. What he has done for our parish is wonderful. What he has done for me personally and spiritually is immeasurable.

Music has been a constant source of blessing and outlet for me. A small group of us provided a blend of contemporary and traditional music at a rotation of Masses. Fr Jonathan encouraged me to think about developing the music more widely as the parish worship leader (and co-ordinator) which is something I held back from – until the DR online event Sunday Experience – Revitalising Music Ministry in Your Parish in June 2022. I was inspired and really wanted to join the Academy. However, it took me another five months to pluck up the courage to apply!

I started the Academy in January and, over the journey, God has spoken to me in so many ways.  

One Hope Project Academy Weekend 2023

The teachings have been so helpful. I have been involved in parish music for a long time, but the teachings we have had on the biblical, liturgical, and spiritual meaning of praise and worship have helped me to understand it in a much deeper way. The teachings have also been so focused on developing our own faith life and how to bring our whole selves to worship. It’s all about Jesus – we cannot share what we do not have – so the posture of worship in our own hearts and lives is so important.

The opportunity to grow in understanding of my charisms and how these can serve God and His people, has been a privilege. This weekend was the end of the Academy, but also the point at which I have acknowledged a deep, deep desire in myself to continue to grow even more. I gave a testimony at the graduation (a first for me!). The words I used for my experience were: dignifying, empowering, challenging and transformative!  

I am so excited, and full of hope and energy, for the future of music ministry at Blessed Sacrament. Even better than that, I feel God working within my life in a way that I do not yet understand. But I know that my faith is being deepened and my desire to know Him and bring others to him through music and liturgy, is being kindled.

The OHP Academy aims to raise up accomplished, Spirit-filled worshippers in parishes all around the world. Over the course of The Academy participants receive solid formation, one to one mentoring and personal practical sessions. Over the last three years One Hope Project have graduated 51 students from 9 different nations, 74% of the graduates being under the age of 35. 

Find out more about how you or your worship leaders can get involved in One Hope Project Academy at