In 1924, Church Farm School founder and headmaster The Rev. Charles Wesley Shreiner adapted the popular play, “Why the Chimes Rang,” into a dramatic pantomime performed by CFS students in period costumes and accompanied by seasonal organ and choral music. A tradition — simply referred to as “Pageant” by the school community and the generations of local families who have attended each year — was born.
“Why the Chimes Rang,” first published in 1909 by Raymond MacDonald Alden, tells of a grand old church (much like Church Farm School’s historic Chapel of the Atonement) with beautiful chimes that ring out when someone places an especially pleasing gift for the Christ-child on the altar as an offering, and how a miracle occurs after the chimes have fallen silent for years. The Pageant’s extensive cast of characters — among them a Moor, an artist, an author, a miser, a knight, and a king and queen and their court — parade to the altar in succession to present their most lavish possessions to the Priest. An interactive performance, Pageant guests serve as the church congregation and are encouraged to participate in the prayers and hymns with the narrator and CFS Choir.
“Why the Chimes Rang” is a deeply moving tale of humility and charity and is a fitting annual tribute to the school’s own Christian teachings. It also serves as an appropriate reminder that the school’s mission has been made possible since 1918 by the extreme generosity of a community that believes in the importance of providing a financially accessible education to those who otherwise would not have one.
The community is invited to the CFS Pageant on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 PM. It lasts approximately one hour and is appropriate for and enjoyed by all ages. A reception at the Head of School residence behind the Chapel will be held from 1-2:30 PM and all are invited.
Reserve your tickets at Church Farm School.