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Westminster Cathedral to ring in start of Olympic Games

By on Thursday, 19 July 2012

Westminster Cathedral and its 273ft bell tower (Photo: PA)

Westminster Cathedral and its 273ft bell tower (Photo: PA)

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.

  • Charles Martel

    What a load of rubbish. Ring our sacred church bells to celebrate a tacky, bogus, smug new religion of togetherness and sentimentality, a load of corrupt IOC officials cruising around in their Zil lanes and a horde of drugged-up self-important athletes? No thanks.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    LET US BE HUMAN TOO. SPIRITUALITY OF A MONSTROUS VARIETY CAN TAKE US AWAY FROM THE COMMON GROUND OF HUMANITY. HERE IS THE GROUND FOR ALL GOOD PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER AND ASSERT OUR COMMON INHERITANCE : HUMANITY.

  • Charles Martel

    I really can’t see any need to assert our common humanity by ringing bells for the so-called Olympic Games. In fact, what on earth does ‘assert our common humanity’ even mean? Do we have to go around asserting that the sky is blue? Christianity is quickly becoming a touchy-feely adjunct to the trashy secular order, and this won’t help. Our bells have better things to do.

  • Kevin

    “Spirituality of a monstrous variety”

    Is that when you fly a torch across a continent, carry it around the country for goodness knows how long, and then give it a military escort into the capital? I do not think the golden calf was treated so well.

  • David Walsh

    Why at 0812 hrs? Surely 2012hrs – 8.12pm is more appropriate!