One of Liverpool’s newest visitor attractions, The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field, will host a festive carol concert at the M&S Bank Arena this November, plans have been revealed today.
‘Celebrating Christmas with Strawberry Field’ will take place on November 27, and will feature music from the Liverpool Walton Band of The Salvation Army. It will also include music from Singer, Asa Murphy, carols from the Liverpool Signing Choir, and a performance from the Sale Salvation Army Songsters, while the evening will be compered by BBC Radio Merseyside’s, Paul Beesley.
All proceeds from the concert will help keep the famous gates open for the good of trainees on Steps at Strawberry Field programmes and the wider community. Providing employment skills, work experience, and opportunities to volunteer, Steps at Strawberry Field empowers people across Liverpool who have learning difficulties or other barriers to employment and helps them to achieve their goals.
The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field is located in Woolton at the iconic site which was immortalised by John Lennon in The Beatles’ hit, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. Previously a children’s home where the young John Lennon played in the grounds, Strawberry Field is now home to a visitor exhibition, cafe, shop and gardens. Through archival footage, photographs, timelines and specialist media guides, visitors to Strawberry Field can experience where John Lennon played and what happened behind the famous red gates.
Major Allister Versfeld, mission development officer at Strawberry Field, who will be playing the cornet in the concert as a member of the Liverpool Walton Band, said:
“Many would say that Christmas begins when they hear a Salvation Army brass band playing carols. This year, I am pleased to be involved with the first of its kind for Liverpool as Strawberry Field presents a celebration of music and carol singing at The Auditorium at the M&S Bank Arena.
“It is particularly special to me as I will be part of a brass band that for years has supported Strawberry Field. I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas with all our guests and community.”
BBC Radio Merseyside presenter, Paul Beesley, who is compere for the concert, said:
“I am delighted to be part of Strawberry Field’s Christmas celebration. I’m sure it will become a fantastic regular festive feature on Liverpool’s calendar of Christmas events.”
Major Kathleen Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field, said:
“For almost 70 years, Strawberry Field’s grounds were filled with the sounds of laughter and music from the young people who lived here and The Salvation Army bands who often performed here. The young John Lennon used to enjoy the music from Salvation Army bands that played in the gardens at Strawberry Field.
“The team and I are excited to be hosting this celebration at the M&S Bank Arena, which will give more people the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with everyone here from Strawberry Field, and I hope this carol concert is the first of many more to come.”
As well as seasonal classics, the concert will also include a host of special guests, carols, and readings that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.