The Bells To Peal Forth

by Rebecca Terhune, ’15


A few friends will join Michael in the Garth.


Nashotah House’s Great Bell ‘Michael’ has rung three times daily to call the community for morning, noonday and evening prayer since 1868, when it was first given as a memorial gift to The House by one Dr. Delafield, a friend of House professor, Dr. Azel Cole.


Recently, Nashotah House received eight change-ringing bells cast in 1990 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. The gift is from Pewaukee, WI resident Mr. Roland Perschon, who has sought a location for his bells over the years, and when Nashotah House approached Mr. Perschon, he offered them to the historic campus.


The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, 19th Dean of Nashotah House christened the bells on the evening of October 10, 2013. The newly baptized bells are named accordingly — Gabriel, God is our Strength; Raphael, God Heals; Jehudiel, God is Praised; Jackson Kemper; James Lloyd Breck; James DeKoven; Charles Chapman Grafton; and Uriel, God is Light.


When asked how one baptizes a bell, Fr Steven Peay, Dean of Academic Affairs at Nashotah House, replied, “The term ‘baptize’ is an euphemism for the ancient tradition of blessing the bells. They are named and consecrated to the glory of God. They will be housed in a new tower to be built on campus.” Using an adapted form from the Roman Pontifical, those officiating also used prayers and material from the Book of Occasional Services.


Although the bells were to be named in order after both archangels and The House’s saints, there was a bit of a mix up in the process with Uriel as the name of the last bell, instead of Charles Chapman Grafton. Later, Chaplain to Nashotah House, Canon Brien Koehler, SSC ’76, addressed the naming of the bells, saying, “It was Providential that the bells were not named in their order — our local saints are hemmed in by the angels.”


Where the bells will be installed, a Middler student replied, “The bells will be housed in a tower and plans are being made to raise funds. Currently, there are plans for building a bell tower in the Garth.”



Rebecca Terhune, who is currently working towards her MTS degree at Nashotah House, hails from the Diocese of Middle Tennessee. She is married to Jason Terhune, a postulant for holy orders, ’15, and is the joyful mother to Ben (16), Perry (13) and Gunnar (11). When she is not working on The Missioner magazine, writing papers for Fr Peay, or diligently studying for her upcoming New Testament quizzes, she chases her black Labrador, Bonnie Kate, out of the nearby Nashotah woods. Despite gaining a more academic persona in recent years, Rebecca still retains her legendary deadpan humor and sensible personality.


About nashotahhouse

Located in Nashotah, Wisconsin, Nashotah House Theological Seminary is the oldest institute of higher education in the state of Wisconsin. Founded in 1842 by a Missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Nashotah House belongs to the Anglican tradition of worship, theology and spirituality. That is, Nashotah House traces her roots to the Church of England and locates herself within the worldwide Anglican Communion. Comprehending the fundamental disciplines of Holy Scripture, Theology, Church History, Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry, the curriculum at Nashotah House not only roots our students in the ancient wisdom of the Church, it prepares and empowers them to communicate the Gospel to the world today.