Bells ring out in fitting tribute to Queen’s role as Church head

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Bells will ring out across Yorkshire this weekend to herald the Jubilee.

Peals sounding from the region’s churches and cathedrals will join a glorious cacophony across Britain and the Commonwealth to celebrate the Queen’s 60-year reign.

There are around 2,000 bell-ringers and 400 churches with bells across Yorkshire, many of which are expected to join in the festivities.

Deborah Thorley, spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers, said: “The Queen is the head of the Church of England and if you were asked for a quintessentially English thing, hearing bells would come out fairly top of the list.

“What we’ve done is encourage everyone to ring at some point over the weekend of the Jubilee.

“The vast majority of the people I’ve spoken to are hoping to ring, and because it is one of those special occasions, places that don’t normally ring are getting involved.”

Some bells will be rung as part of special church services, while full peal attempts – ringing continuously for three hours or more – will take place elsewhere. Today, a four-hour peal will sound from York Minster from 9.30am to 2pm, and bells will be rung at Doncaster Minster for a Jubilee service from 10 to 11am.

Most of Yorkshire’s events will take place tomorrow to chime with the Royal Jubilee Bells, which the Queen will bid to begin ringing at the end of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant at 3pm.

The eight bells, which were cast earlier this year especially for the occasion and named after members of the Royal Family, will be contained in a floating belfry that will lead the flotilla along the River Thames.

Sheffield Cathedral bell-ringers will be attempting a peal tomorrow to coincide with them.

Ringing will take place at St Michael’s Church, York, tomorrow and bells will be rung as part of a service at the Church of St John the Baptist in the North Yorkshire village of Hunsingore.

Bells will also sound from St Peter’s Parish Church in Leeds at 2.15pm before a service at 3pm. Call changes will be rung from Dewsbury Minster at 6pm and bells will chime from Halifax Minster.

The Vicar of Halifax, the Rev Canon Hilary Barber, said: “For those churches that have bells, this is another way to bring the community together and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.”

Bells will be also be rung at Wakefield Cathedral at 3pm tomorrow. A peal attempt will also take place at the cathedral on Tuesday, when bell-ringers from St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds, will be attempting a similar feat.