Bells at local churches tolled in support of Notre DameOn Maundy Thursday (April 18) a bell was tolled at 7.00 pm for seven minutes at St Mary's, Marlborough, Preshute, Mildenhall, Wootton Rivers, Aldbourne, Pewsey, Milton Lilbourne, Upavon in the Marlborough area - and at many other churches and cathedrals across the country.
The tolling was to mark the devastation by fire of Notre Dame de Paris, to give thanks that so much was saved and to show solidarity with the French people.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York encouraged all cathedrals and churches across England to participate in the bell tolling. The time of 7.00 pm was chosen in recognition of the hour when the fire was first discovered in Notre Dame.
This initiative was suggested by the British ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn.
Dorothy Blythe, Tower Captain at Marlborough St. Mary’s, told marlborough.news: “The tolling of a bell is the technique of sounding a single bell, usually the tenor bell, very slowly, with a significant gap between strikes."
"It was originally used to inform local villagers that someone had died. The expression ‘tolling’ is derived from the English tradition of ‘telling’ of the death by signalling it with a bell.”
“In Holy Week bells are not usually rung, but if they are rung they will always be half muffled. Yesterday’s ringing was therefore very meaningful. Seeing the fire reminded us all of the terrible events at Grenfell when the whole nation was shocked into stunned silence.”