The Bells of Christmas
The CBB -> St Agnes's House

#1: The Bells of Christmas Author: CBB Secret Santa PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 6:44 pm

The children came in, a raggle-taggle bunch, jostling, scrapping, pushing, shoving, finding their way to seats, scraping the chairs around, the boys pulling the hair of the girls sitting in front of them, the girls poking the boys. Eventually they were all in, a few small children clutched precariously on older sistersí laps; the last few to arrive squeezing two to a seat. All impatient to get this over and get to the free food, the offer of which had drawn them from slums and backstreets across the city. They quietened down somewhat when asked, but the rustles, whispers and giggles as the curtains opened, predicted that this was a temporary respite.

As the opening words were spoken, a pellet from a catapult soared across the hall to land at the speakerís feet. She carried on speaking, as if it had never happened, except, perhaps, to speak her words with more feeling.

She seemed to infect those who came after her. The previous performance had been excellent, but this time it had something more, a desire to impress the true meaning of Christmas on the inattentive audience, a wish to bring some of the joy of the season just past to those who knew so little joy in their lives, a need to share some of their plenty with those who had little or nothing. Where some might have despaired, they continued to pour heart and soul into the message, hoping that somewhere in the unruly crowd someone was paying attention.

And during the course of the play the room seemed to change. The atmosphere gradually hushed as one by one, the audience started to notice what was going on in front of them, started to listen to the words and were caught up by the story. By the time the final tableau appeared, every pair of eyes was riveted to the stage, a stillness filled the room as the children realised that this too was about a child; recognised that this was a child who knew poverty as they did; understood for the first time that God became human.

After the final carol they poured out to the adjacent hall, where a veritable feast was laid out for them. The jostling and shoving started again as they reached for the food. But there was a difference. As well as feeding their bodies, the afternoon had fed their hearts and minds. They would go back to their slums, their poverty, their hunger, their struggle through life. But each Christmas presents arrived, and were distributed among them and their families, and they would remember. As they got older they would tell their children, and in later years, their grandchildren, they were a gift from the Bells of Christmas, and the story would be told once again.


#2:  Author: patmacLocation: Yorkshire England PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 6:53 pm

That was lovely.


#3:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:39 pm

Absolutely beautiful.


#4:  Author: Carolyn PLocation: Lancaster, England PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:35 pm

So, this is when the school performed the play for the children of the parish the money was raised for, what a lovely story to fill in. Razz


#5:  Author: Cath V-PLocation: Newcastle NSW PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:57 am

Moving and thought-provoking. And very compelling.


#6:  Author: SugarplumLocation: second star to the right! PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:38 am

beautiful thank you


#7:  Author: RosyLocation: Gloucestershire-London-Aberystwyth PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:09 am

Lovely. Lucky KathrynW


#8:  Author: Amanda MLocation: Wakefield PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:39 am

That was beautiful. Thanks Kathryn.


#9:  Author: KathrynWLocation: London PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:29 pm

Thank you Santa, that was absolutely lovely Very Happy



#10:  Author: ChairLocation: Rochester, Kent, England PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:25 pm

Thanks, Secret Santa. That was a lovely drabble for Kathryn. Thank you for telling us the story.


#11:  Author: RuthYLocation: Anyone's guess PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 8:10 am

Excellent fill-in.

Thank you Santa.



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