Mystery Plays>
These plays were written by Benjamin C. Boulter and performed at S. Silas' Church

Benjamin Boulter mystery plays which were intended for performance in the Church but initially the Bishop of London insisted that they could only be performed in the Church Hall. It was not until 1918 when he allowed them to be performed in the Church and St Silas church became the first church since the Reformation which had stage Mystery Plays.

The Christmas Mystery
1910 - 1st performance

The Epiphany Play
1915 - Candlemass.
1918 - First time play performed in church.  BCB wrote new scene called “Nativity” especially for this performance.
1919 - 7th performance, although not successively (omitted 1916 and 1917)
1920 - 9th year in succession  (Monthly Paper Feb - Apr 1920, page 14 - long summary of play.)
Bi-Monthly Paper, Jan - Feb 1923, page 8, details re play
Bi-Monthly Paper, Jan - Feb 1923, pages 11-12, article re play by BCB
Bi-monthly Paper, Jan - Feb 1924, page 9, details re play.
Bi-monthly Paper, Mar - Apr, 1924, page 8, details re play.
21st Anniversary Number, Sept - Oct 1928, page 13 - article on the Mystery Plays.
1929 details of the Mystery of the Epiphany (Bi-Monthly Paper, Jan - Feb 1929, page 18)
1930 - 18th performance


The Mystery of the Passion
First Performed on Good Friday March 25th 1921 (Monthly Papers, Apr - May 1921, page 4-5)
The Church Times of April 1st contained a very pleasing appreciation of the Passion Play at St.  Silas the Martyr from the pen of ‘CBM’ (Monthly Papers, Apr - May 1921, page 10)
10th performance - Good Friday, April 18th 1930.  [CBM was Charles Bernard Mortlock Assistant Priest at S. Silas 1918 -19 and later Vicar of S. Vedast in the City as well as drama correspondent of the Telegraph.

Paul and Silas - Mystery Play  - with music
Bi-monthly Paper, Jan - Feb 1924, page 8-9, detail re play.
Bi-monthly Paper, Nov - Dec 1924, page 10, detail re play.
Two performances after the Dedication Festival.  Detail given in Bimonthly Paper, Dec. 1929, page 10.

Original Pictures taken of the Mystery Plays



The Mystery of the Passion
The Mystery of the Passion
The Mystery of the Passion
The Mystery of the Passion
The Mystery of the Passion
The Mystery of the Passion


PAUL AND SILAS - Mystery Play  - with music

First Presentation by the St. Silas Players 6th November, 1923, in the Church of St. Silas-the-Martyr.

First is sung the Introductory Ode, “Sweet Sister Faith.” In the first Scene we meet the owners of Lois, the soothsaying damsel, who is anon displayed chanting her replies to those who come consulting her. The last of these awakes her from her spell. The second Scene introduces Paul and Silas in the market-place. Lois is converted to Christ, despite the protests of her owners, who excite the crowd to hale them before the magistrates. By these they are condemned to gaol. In the third Scene they are in the prison. Yet “in vain, in vain the prison wall!” repeats the choir. Paul and Silas sing their praises to God: the other captives join them. Then amid thunder the walls collapse; the gaoler rushes in and bids them all within his house. The last Scene is in the Gaoler’s house. The household has received the Gospel message, and all are baptized, the while is sung the ‘Song of Baptism’. The sergeants conic bidding the Saints be dismissed. This they refuse, demanding that the magistrates attend and set them free. Their Worships arrive, and so to the strain of the ‘Song of Departure’ the Saints leave their little flock.

The scene is Philippi, the Play being based on Acts XVI, 16-39.
The music has been composed by Bertha Consitt Boulter

These details of the play are transcribed from a notice written by Rev. G Napier Whittingham, Vicar.

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