The Spirit of Pomfret
Twice each week, we pause to consider the things that matter most.
Chapel is the spiritual center of campus life. With roots in the Episcopal faith, students and faculty gather twice each week to attend a broadly inclusive, non-denominational celebration of the human experience. The cornerstone of the Chapel program is the senior chapel talk. Through the telling of stories and the sharing of insights, chapel talks raise our community up, remind us of what it means to be part of the human family, challenge us to be our truest and best selves, and confront a host of realities that call us to action with our minds and hearts, heads and hands, body and spirit.
Named for George Newhall Clark (1904), who passed away tragically during his sophomore year at Harvard, Clark Memorial Chapel is a Norman-inspired stone church based on a much older chapel in Pontefract, England. Designed by famed-architect Ernest Flagg, it houses a fine pipe organ built by George S. Hutchings Organ Company of Boston that has been restored and expanded over the years. The stone used to build the Chapel was donated by a local farmer, Lewis Averill, who dismantled the stately walls of his beloved Wolf Den Farm and hauled the bounty by oxcart to the top of Pomfret Hill. Most windows are original to the building, which was finished in 1908, but the iconic Rose Window (pictured above) and two others date back to early part of the 13th century. Today, Clark Chapel plays host to a number of events throughout the year, including Lessons & Carols, a candlelight vigil featuring readings and songs, which happens every December.
Life is short and we never have enough time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.
— HENRI-FRÉDÉRIC AMIEL
The senior chapel program was initiated by former headmaster Brad Hastings ’68 as an important milestone experience for members of the senior class. Seniors often realize in this learning and discovery process that it sometimes takes a task like this to reveal significant personal beliefs, experiences, hopes, and convictions.
Typically, each chapel meeting allows for three senior chapel talks. Each senior develops his or her authentic ideas and makes creative decisions around the what, why and how of chapel talks in conjunction with the faculty advisor and School Chaplain Bobby Fisher. Chapel talks are 6-8 minutes in length and recorded by the Pomfret Communications Office.
Through the telling of stories and the sharing of insights, chapel talks raise our community up, remind us of what it means to be part of the human family, challenge us to be our truest and best selves, and confront a host of realities that call us to action with our minds and hearts, heads and hands, body and spirit. These talks have become a significant and beloved part of school culture over time.