Salvation Army musical highlights importance of community
published on 12 Jan 2024
A new musical that highlights the work of The Salvation Army and the importance of community is coming to Sheffield as part of a nationwide tour.
‘Belongings’ is based in a charity shop and tells the story of the staff, volunteers and customers who shelter together during a stormy afternoon.
Featuring brand new music, the musical is written by Paul Sharman and Steph Lamplough, The Salvation Army’s assistant directors of its Music and Creative Arts team.
Steph said: “A Salvation Army charity shop is a place where people from all walks of life are welcome, where they belong. When a storm hits, these almost-strangers decide to spend the afternoon together, rather than venturing into the rain. With nothing much to do, they bond over tea and stories. But one person has a story they aren’t telling – a story with devastating consequences.
“The story was inspired by everyday people. I wanted to write something that was driven by strong characters whose stories were authentic so that the audience would see their own loved ones reflected in the people on the stage, so be prepared as it's a tearjerker!
“I also wanted to celebrate what The Salvation Army does so well today – community, being amongst people and being God's hand to people. ‘Love God, Love others' - that's what this musical is about.”
This new musical, which had its public premiere at The Salvation Army’s Together 23 conference last summer, follows a tradition of original musicals written and performed by members of The Salvation Army, the first of which was written more than 60 years ago by Generals John Gowans and John Larsson, former worldwide leaders of the church and charity.
The musical’s cast comprises of people who are part of The Salvation Army across the UK and features a live band of musicians who also attend Salvation Army churches.
It is touring the UK and will be coming to Sheffield Citadel Corps in Psalter Lane on Saturday 3 February at 7pm.
Sheffield Citadel church leader Major Andrew Spivey, who leads the church with his wife Valerie, said: “We are delighted that ‘Belongings’ will be visiting Sheffield, bringing this uplifting story of hope and community to our city. We know it will be an enjoyable evening filled with great storylines and top quality music. The performance is open to the public and we would love to see our building packed out with people from across our city and beyond.
“Our church provides help and support to anyone who needs it, including food parcels and delivering Christmas presents to those who needed extra help over the festive period. We aim to provide the same feeling of community that is portrayed in Belongings to people across Sheffield.”