Church bells to ring ahead of COP26

Churches across the country are planning to ring their bells on the eve of COP26, the meeting of leaders to discuss climate change.

Bells have traditionally been rung to mark significant moments, both in times of celebration, such as victory in war, and as a warning of impending danger, such as invasion.

A number of Church of England churches will be among those joining in the Ring Out for Climate initiative at 18:00 for 30 minutes on Saturday 30th October. The United Nations Climate Change conference takes place in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12.

The idea 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.

One local church which plans to take part is Grappenhall. Ringing Master, Nick Thomson says: "I'm pleased to say that we will be ringing the bells at Grappenhall on Saturday 30th October at 6pm, to mark the start of the COP26 summit. I have arranged some general ringing during that time, to give everyone a chance to participate if they are free. Let us hope that something positive comes out of the summit."

Nick Thomson donated a bell in memory of his parents when they replaced all the bells in 2019

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, the Church of England’s Lead Bishop for the Environment, said: “Church bells have traditionally been rung through the centuries to raise the alarm for local communities. 

“The recent ‘code red’ report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an alarm call for us all. 

“A nationwide ‘ring out for climate’ on the eve of the COP26 can be a warning symbol, but also one of hope.

“Hope that this conference will lead to action for us all, like Jesus, to tread more gently on our single island planet home and care more for those already adversely affected by climate change, especially in the economically poorest places on Earth.”

Bell ringers across the country are supporting the initiative.



More environment stories from around the diocese

How to hold a net-zero service

Parishes are invited to hold a net-zero service between now and the 7th November. Resources are available to help parishes measure the carbon footprint of their services, including travel emissions, heating, lighting and electricity.

How to become an Eco-Church

The Diocese of Chester has registered its intent to work towards Eco-Diocese status with A Rocha, the Christian charity behind the environment scheme. Find out how to become an eco-church

Camino to COP walkers come through the diocese

Camino to COP is a pilgrimage for climate justice, which began in London and will finish in Glasgow on 31 October. We met the walkers in Hartford as they passed through our diocese.

Greening Grange

Watch the Bishop of Chester, Mark Tanner, "break the ground" of a new community garden at St. Andrew's, Grange. The garden will be planted on the site of the old church hall and will be designed to help increase biodiversity.

How climate change affects our linked dioceses

The Diocese of Chester has strong links with the Diocese of Melanesia, which is in the Solomon Islands. The islands are significantly affected by climate change, a tragic irony not lost on the inhabitants who lead eco-friendly lifestyles.

Woodchurch receives Green Flag Award

Holy Cross Woodchurch Churchyard has achieved the Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces. Holy Cross Churchyard is one of 2127 award-winning green spaces.


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