The world watched horrified on Monday as the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral burned in Paris, its roof and spire collapsing on itself. Following the lead of other places around the globe, Christ Church Cathedral rung its bells Thursday in solidarity with the prominent cultural landmark.
“The archbishops of Canterbury and York asked for the bells in England to be rung in solidarity with Notre Dame and we picked up that message and asked the Dean for permission for us to ring at the same time they were ringing in England,” said David Oliver, tower captain of the Christ Church Cathedral Guild of Change Ringers.
Christ Church Cathedral tolled its tenor bell at 11 a.m. Thursday – an exceptional circumstance as bells are not usually rung during Holy Week in the lead up to Easter.
“David Oliver came to us and said, ‘We should make some kind of gesture in solidarity with Notre Dame,’” said Susan Down, communications officer for Christ Church Cathedral. “The congregation, we felt so sorrowful about what has happened over there with the fire and we felt the best thing to do would be to ring the bells.”
The bronze tenor bell, cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, is a D flat and weighs 3,295 pounds.
Christ Church Cathedral was designed in 1896 and is one of Canada’s largest churches. The Nave was consecrated in 1929, the western towers were completed in the 1950s and the reconstruction of the East End was consecrated in 1991.
The belfry is in the northwest tower with the ringing chamber up a narrow spiral staircase of 71 steps. It is an additional 35 steps from there up to the bell chamber which houses the 10 bells that have a combined weight of 13,218 pounds.
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.