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Ring out for Peace

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Feb, 2020 03:57 PM

Church bells throughout the country will be rung on May 8th to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Ring out for Peace

Original photos courtesy

During the Second World War, the bells of Britain were silenced, only to be used to give warning of air raids or invasion. During air raids, many churches suffered damage from bombs and incendiaries, others saw their bells destroyed through indiscriminate enemy action.

On 8th May 1945, the news the nation had been waiting for arrived. The war in Europe was over. 6 years of bloodshed that had killed millions of our armed forces and civilians had finally come to a close.

Bells across the country pealed, tugs on the Thames sounded their horns, and planes victory-rolled overhead. A sea of red, white and blue erupted as men, women and children rejoiced.

75 years to the day later, bells in cathedrals, churches, and other locations will ring out at 7pm in a collective celebration of peace.

The bells will be rung across the nation in celebration of 75 years of peace, along with paying tribute to the millions that either died or returned home wounded during or after the war in Europe ended, along with remembering those civilians at home that went through so much while loved ones fought and died overseas, and those still in conflict with the Japanese until VJ Day on 15th August 1945.

Ring out for Peace- cathedral at dusk

Vicki Chapman from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, who is co-ordinating the national ring, says:

"The aim is to involve as many bells as possible to mark this important anniversary. All those taking part will be able to print a copy of the General Certificate of Grateful Recognition as a reminder of their involvement in VE Day 75.

"The Central Council encourages all ringers to respond as they see fit, taking into account the wide variety of local circumstances. Ringing open at 7pm (local time wherever you are in the world) is the ideal and recommended option, but any time that afternoon or evening, and indeed throughout the weekend of events planned, is also supported."

Our local Guilds are asking all ringers in our Diocese to take part in the national commemorations and Robert Wellen, Guild Master in Salisbury, is keen to record the ringing and asks that ringers let him know what they are doing, and take pictures that can record their events.

To register, click here and register your involvement as soon as possible.

Bellboard has an Event link< for you to record your ringing on the day so that it can be collated for print in The Ringing World.

You can send local pictures to Robert at

More here.

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