Historic Harry Bell Tolls

09th April 2020

Canterbury makes history with announcement it will toll its famous “Harry” bell every night until pandemic recedes

Canterbury’s famous bell “Harry” will toll each evening to say thank you for all those frontline workers and in remembrance of the day’s global victims of Covid-19.

Starting this evening, Maundy Thursday (9th April), at 8pm – the same time the nation comes together to clap for the NHS and other essential front line workers – the tolling of the bell will be both in remembrance of each day’s victims of coronavirus around the world, and in recognition of the daily bravery and self-sacrifice of frontline healthcare staff and other essential workers within the UK and around the world.

Harry will sound for two minutes at 8pm EVERY evening until the threat of COVID-19 recedes in recognition of the unprecedented shared global tragedy of this pandemic.

It is hoped that the familiar sound of this bell of the 1,400-year-old Cathedral will be a comfort and source of strength for all who hear it, and 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 Dean of Canterbury, The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, said:

“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 Cathedral’s bell ‘Harry’ will be tolled remotely via a timer, so no staff will be present within the building.