City of London Festival of Bells
09:20 BST Saturday, 31st July 2021
The many Covid restrictions in the City of London are finally being eased sufficiently to allow reopening to take place. The Church, by contrast, has been open throughout the pandemic, and now looks forward to welcoming people back to the City. Absent in the year has been the celebrated sound of the City’s many church bells. To mark the reopening, the Lord Mayor and the Archdeacon of London have called for the ringing of as many of the City’s bells as possible on Saturday 31 July in a grand Festival of Bells.
The day is set to begin with the ringing of Great Paul at St Paul’s Cathedral. Great Paul is the largest swinging bell in the United Kingdom and hasn’t been rung properly for over ten years. This, the grandfather of all City bells, will by rung to open the Festival at 9:20am and will be rung again in the afternoon in the presence of the Lord Mayor. In reply, the first of the other sets of City bells will be rung and throughout the day the others will sound as part of a day long programme of ringing.
The Festival is being co-ordinated by Dickon Love, and to make this day work, we need ringers! Permission to ring has already been given or being obtained with the plan for quarter peals and/or general ringing at the City towers (plus Spitalfields). A number of routes are being planned through the City with unlimited ringing slots at some of the towers.
Ringers are invited to register their interest by filling out this short survey. In this you are invited to register interest in one or more quarter peals, or if you want to bring your own band to fill quarter peal slots, we can try to accommodate that too. Equally, if you wish to take part in general ringing, please do sign up here as well.
A venue for drinking for at least the end of the day is being sought to allow ringers to get together to catch up to conclude the day’s festival.
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