In a programme filmed before the current restrictions, Aled Jones explores the theme of inclusion and visits Strawberry Field in Liverpool to discover how The Salvation Army is putting faith into action and embracing its link to John Lennon, who played there as a child.
When The Beatles released the iconic song “Strawberry Fields Forever” in 1967, many assumed the lyric was simply the product of John Lennon’s imagination, but the song harked back to a place that was very special to Lennon’s childhood. Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army Children’s home in Woolton, Liverpool, occupying a grand Victorian house with beautiful grounds. John lived with his Aunt Mimi around the corner and often used to jump over the walls to play in the gardens. It was a place of sanctuary for him.
The Children’s Home closed in 2005 and the Salvation Army felt there was an opportunity to do something new and creative with the site, especially as 60,000 Beatles fans a year were turning up just to have photos by the iconic red gates. Last year they opened a new Strawberry Field centre – a training hub for young people with learning difficulties. See more about the setting on Songs of Praise on Sunday 19th April, BBC1 at 1.15pm.