Thousands of church bells will peal across Britain to mark the opening of the Olympic Games 2012 next Friday.
St Edward’s bell at Westminster Cathedral in London will chime at 8.12am, along with those of other churches which are also ringing their bells to celebrate the beginning of the Games.
The bells will be rung as part of a project by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed, who wants everyone in the country to ring any bell they can find loudly and repeatedly for three minutes.
James Parker, Catholic executive coordinator for the 2012 Games, said: “People will wake and travel on the morning of the day of the Olympic opening ceremony with an expectation in their hearts. This is the day when our nation’s preparations to host a 27-day party for the entire world actually begins. It is hoped that there will be widespread international reports of church bells ringing out, reminding the British Isles and the rest of the globe of Britain’s Christian roots.
“Although few Catholic churches have bells, nevertheless this could be a unique, significant and, yes, even a fun moment for us all to start the countdown to the celebrations and a great moment to stop and pray for God’s peace to fall upon our nation and on the world.”
Meanwhile, Our Lady and St Catherine of Siena church, the Catholic church closest to the Olympic Park, will be open from 9am every morning and close with Benediction at midnight each day. There will be at least two Masses each day and daily Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6.30pm.