When Charlie visited London in the 1970s he made a stop at The Salvation Army hall on Kennington Lane in South London. He was fortunate to evade all publicity and the event only became known to the general public recently.
It was in this same SA hall that Charlie Chaplin participated in meetings as a child. He shared his childhood memories with a few officers who recognized him seated among the congregants. However, most of those in the congregation did not notice or recognize him. He entered the hall as the meeting began and during the singing of the opening song he seated himself in the last row.
Chaplin had much on which to reflect… His childhood in this London neighborhood had been tumultuous and unhappy. His father drank himself to death, His mother became mentally unstable and was remitted to a mental hospital , And, Charlie was placed in a home for destitute and abandoned children. Subsequently he was ‘placed’ with a woman who was to care for him, but she threw him out ! The police found him at 3:00 in the morning, huddled on a street corner and so frozen that he appeared to be “blue”.
The bright moments in his life during his childhood years were those spent ‘when joining in the children’s meetings at The Army’s hall in Kennington Lane’. There was much to reflect on for Charlie Chaplin when he once again joined in a meeting in the little hall. He joined in singing the closing song: “Can a poor sinner come to Jesus?”
(Veckoposten, Weekly Mail – translated; Dr. Sven Ljungholm) From FSAOF