As previously announced (The Clapper, Jan. 2015), the consecration of the new Immanuel Chapel at the Virginia Theological Seminary is scheduled for Tues., Oct. 13, 2015. VTS has recently announced that dedication of the ring of eight bells (installed Nov. 2014) will occur on the same date. Since the chapel consecration will be a major event in the life of the seminary, there is quite a full schedule of events planned throughout the day, and very many participants and visitors are expected to be in attendance. Since the bell dedication will be just one small part of the day’s events, it isn’t yet clear what role there will be for bell ringing or bell ringers. Nevertheless, this is to inform the NAGCR community of plans such as they are known at present.
Links to the seminary’s consecration event are via http://www.vts.edu/immanuelchapel . The chapel consecration service will take place in the morning. The bell dedication will be held in conjunction with a 4:00 pm Evensong service. Seating in the chapel will be very limited; according to VTS, Evensong seats can be requested by the general public starting Sept. 10 via the web site. No details are yet available from the VTS administration regarding specific order of service, times, places, etc. for the bell dedication itself, including how it can best be experienced by those without a ticket for chapel seating.
I am hopeful but not yet certain that there will be bell ringing at VTS on the day. We have been in contact with the administration but we don’t yet know what or how much ringing might take place. Due to both the very full liturgical schedule and the incomplete sound control installation in the tower, it is highly unlikely that there will be a peal attempt. I am sorry that I don’t know more about plans at this time. If you do wish to make plans to attend the event, you are welcome to give notice via <bell-tower-contact at vts dot edu> so we will know to expect you. When we have more information about the day’s schedule, the bell dedication, and what, if any, opportunities for bell ringing exist, I can provide an update in order to assist anyone who might be considering travel to Alexandria for the day.
-Rob Gibson, Ringing Master / Tower Captain, VTS Guild