Thursday, 28 October 2021 10:03

Peeling bells to support start of COP26

Parishes are being urged to mark the start of the COP26 climate change summit by ringing bells.

The plan is for church and cathedral bells to be peeled for 30 minutes at 6pm on Saturday, 30 October.

The idea of the mass bellringing was devised by Edward Gildea, the adventurer and environmentalist, who is a member of St Mary's church in Saffron Walden, Essex, as a vivid warning of the danger from the climate emergency.

He said: “Church bells would normally be used to call people to church on Sundays.

"But this time, they'll be ringing out a warning - a 'code-red for humanity' warning.'

Mr Gildea created a Facebook page to support the idea. 

A post from him reads: "Wouldn't it be great if every church, chapel and cathedral bell around the world were to ring out its warning to humanity on the eve of COP 26?

"This website is for people of all faiths and none, who share a common concern for the future of humanity."

Bell ringers across the country are supporting the initiative.

Simon Linford, President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, commented: “Bellringers understand how important the bells they ring are not only to the church but also to the local community. 

“The sound of bells was missed during lockdown, and it is now being welcomed back as part of the nation’s soundscape. 

“Many bellringers are planning to join in with “ring out for the climate’, lending their powerful voice in support of efforts to halt climate change.”

Where churches participate, a notification on social media or in newsletters can help make the local community aware of the significance of the bells.



Meanwhile, Derby Cathedral, and other churches within the Diocese of Derby, are holding vigils.

The Dean of Derby, the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, will lead a prayer vigil at the cathedral on Saturday, 30th October, at 11am.

Dean Peter said: "This is such a pivotal moment. Carbon emissions and temperatures continue to rise, the biodiversity of the planet is decreasing and the very future of the human race is threatened.

"Now is the time to act and the faith communities across the globe have the capacity to act together and influence the outcome of COP26 for the better.

"Not only will be praying for radical change in policies and practice by all nations but we will be demonstrating our solidarity with the global poor who suffer disproportionately from the impact of global heating.

"Please do come and join us for this critical moment in history and let’s take action together!"

And Saint Michael's Kirk Langley will hold a vigil on Wednesday, 3 November at 7.30pm


Edward Gildea's video message to all churches in the country


Last modified on Monday, 08 November 2021 16:35