JOHN Lennon’s iconic Imagine will sound out across Liverpool – played on the city’s Anglican cathedral bells.
Bellringers will perform the song, whose lyrics invite listeners to “imagine there’s no heaven”, in May.
The performance is part of the North West’s Futuresonic festival.
Cathedral bosses today said they hoped it would “inspire” listeners.
A spokesman said: “The request to have Imagine played on the cathedral bells was, from the beginning, a challenging proposal technically but we have a great bell ringing team and we obviously took into consideration sensitivities surrounding the song’s lyrical content.
“The proposed performance will inspire thought as it yearns for peace in a broken and troubled world.
“We also anticipate it will be a very moving and spiritual experience and will engage with all people including those who don’t usually interact with places of worship.”
Festival director Drew Hemment, who founded Futuresonic in 1995, today described the cathedral’s involvement as reflecting the city’s “famous tolerance and courage.”
He said: “When the idea of Imagine being ‘broadcast’ over church bells was suggested I realised it had to happen in Liverpool and the Anglican Cathedral would be the ideal partner.
"Their support for the project has been fantastic and reflects the city's famous tolerance and courage. This event celebrates the unique spirit of Liverpool that runs through both the cathedral and Lennon's secular message."
Imagine, penned in 1971, opens with the lines: “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.
“No hell below us, above us only sky.”
Lennon described it as “anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic”.
Futuresonic takes place from May 13-16. More details on www.futuresonic.com THE ECHO