Canterbury cathedral to ring bell in honour of frontline staff and victims

The oldest bell at Canterbury Cathedral will ring every evening from tonight to remember those who have died from the coronavirus and to celebrate frontline workers.

The 17th century bell, known as "Harry", will toll at 8pm in recognition of the "shared global tragedy" of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dean of Canterbury said he hoped the familiar sound of the bell at the 1,400-year-old cathedral will be a comfort and source of strength.

"Communities around the world have embraced the idea of clapping hands to thank publicly healthcare staff and other frontline workers at this time. We all know that their vital work is undertaken at great personal risk to themselves. The bell of Canterbury Cathedral will lend its voice to this display of gratitude and also mark a moment to pause and remember those who have died."

The Very Rev Dr Robert Willis

Cathedral staff hope the daily bell ringing will serve as a symbol ofcontinuity, solidarity and reassurance that society will, as a global community, get through this dark time together.

The cathedral is encouraging everyone within earshot to record the tolling of the bell from inside their homes each evening and post it online to share with their friends and families wherever they are.

The 8pm two-minute toll begins this evening, in celebration and recognition of the daily bravery and self-sacrifice of frontline healthcare staff and other essential workers within the UK and internationally.

It will be tolled remotely via a timer, meaning no staff have to be present within the building.