Eight change-ringing bells have found a home at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. Roland Perschon of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, purchased the bells, cast in 1990 by Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, as a memorial to his parents and has been seeking a home for them since then. Perschon donated the bells in response to a proposal by Nashotah House.
The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., dean and president of Nashotah House, will bless the bells at 4:30 p.m. October 10 in a ceremony open to the public. After that blessing ceremony, the Nashotah community will celebrate the Eucharist in its Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin.
“Because of our unique witness and commitment to introducing our students to the historic English choral tradition, with its rich and varied approach to change-ringing, the gift of these magnificent bells will enhance our work and common life together,” said Canon Joseph A. Kucharski, professor of church music.
Change-ringing is common in England, where there are more than 5,000 towers, but there are fewer than 50 such towers in the United States.
“The psalms often speak of making joyful sounds unto the Lord, and these bells will do just that,” Dean Salmon said.
The eight bells joins Michael, a one-ton bell that has rung the Angelus for 128 years. Michael rings three times daily to call the Nashotah community to prayer.
Image of Michael in the bell tower courtesy of Nashotah House