For centuries bells have been an important part of Christian worship. They are used to summon people to worship, to celebrate great events, and at times (during the war) for emergencies. At Bristol Cathedral we have two sets of bells, one in the central tower which are rung electronically, and a set of changing bells in the north-west tower. These were taken out of the ruined Temple Church, which was bombed in the war. They are rung by hand, by volunteers and visiting bell ringing groups.
However - in the modern era we do recognise that whilst some people love the bells others find the noise more intrusive, so we do limit their use to set times and occasions. The central tower's bells are automatically rung at the following times:
- A chime on each quarter hour, to indicate the time
- Tolling for around ten minutes before the daily services of Morning Prayer (8.00am), the Lunchtime Eucharist (12.30pm) and Evensong (5.15pm during the week and 3.30pm at weekends).
The bells in the north-west tower are rung on the following occasions:
- For around half an hour before our 10.00am CAathedral Eucharist on Sundays
- For special services and events, like weddings, funerals, and school services
- For practice on a Friday evening.
Please note - visitors to the Park Street area will hear the Cathedral bells, but they will also hear the bells of the University's Wills building further up the hill, as well as the Lord Mayor's Chapel, and even St Mary Redcliffe's bells can be heard.