After much anticipation, the steeples and bells for Christendom’s new Christ the King Chapel were installed over the course of this past week, completing the exterior construction work on the new Chapel.
“We look forward with great anticipation to hearing the steeple bells ringing out over our campus and the Shenandoah Valley,” said College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, “This was the final crowning moment of the exterior of our chapel as these gothic spires will turn our gaze heavenward, raising our hearts and minds to Almighty God.”
The two steeples, which were built by McShane Bell Company in St. Louis, Missouri. were constructed of a steel frame structure and clad with hundreds of diamond-shaped zinc-coated copper shingles, similar to the shingles near the base of the crowns at the top of the Chapel’s main crossing tower. Four gilded trefoils—a decorative three-lobed ornament—accent four dormer areas on each steeple.
Each steeple stands at thirty-five feet tall, weighing approximately twelve thousand pounds, and is topped by a four- foot tall, gilded weathervane. The height to the top of the weathervane is approximately one hundred five feet. Each steeple was constructed of two lengthwise halves which were bolted together on-site and lifted into place by a crane, onto the top of the current belltower.
Prior to installing the steeples, twelve bells were lifted into place, six bells to each tower. Eight of the twelve bells will swing and four are fixed in place. All will be able to play various songs automatically or by remote keyboard, chime the hours, or simply be used to ring out. Each belfry has four gothic arch-shaped openings that will receive a pair of louvered shutters. These will automatically open into the belfry prior to ringing to showcase the swinging bells and will close when ringing has completed. Lights inside the belfry will illuminate the bells at night.
The twelve bells, which were baptized by College Chaplain Father Marcus Pollard in November of 2020, were blessed with a special prayer, invoking the protection of our holy angels against the snares of the evil one. Those who hear them ring all over the countryside will be granted the grace of healing.
Interior work continues on the Chapel, with stained glass windows recently installed and woodwork continuing throughout the Chapel,
For more information on Christ the King Chapel, please visit chapel.christendom.edu.