Responding to the fire of Notre Dame

As a mark of solidarity following the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, the tenor bell at Leeds Minster will be tolled for 7 minutes at 7pm on Thursday. 

The request was made of all churches and cathedrals by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in response to a suggestion by the British Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn.

The bell will be rung by the Rector of Leeds, the Reverend Canon Sam Corley (pictured above). Sam has rung bells since the age of ten and remembers visiting Notre Dame on a school trip when he was 12.

"I was incredibly fortunate. My French teacher knew I loved bells and while we were up the north tower at Notre Dame she arranged for the steeple keeper to take me through into the south tower to see the large bell, called ‘Emmanuel’, which produces one of the most iconic sounds of Paris. I remember standing inside the bell, amazed by its scale and size." 

"The noise of bells is so evocative in times of tragedy and celebration. Like the buildings in which they hang, bells stir and evoke longings for permanence and connection, and they point to and proclaim, a message of redemption and hope beyond ourselves. We will see that story unfolding as Notre Dame is rebuilt and of course it is also the heart of the Easter story we shall be celebrating this weekend: out of death and destruction arises new life and fresh possibilities."

Churches and cathedrals across the diocese will join Leeds Minster tomorrow by tolling their bells at 7pm for 7 minutes, including Ripon, Wakefield and Bradford Cathedrals.

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