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York Minster Bells to stay silent on New Year’s Eve

21 Dec, 2020

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The Chapter of York has confirmed that there will no bells at York Minster to ring in the New Year. The announcement reinforces the City of York’s strategy to prevent gatherings and maintain physical distancing in order to control the spread of the Covid-19 infection in the city of York and the wider region.

Recent Government guidance and direction from the Central Council of Bell Ringing, gives exceptional permission for bell ringing at places of worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only, in line with local restrictions. The Tier 2 restrictions in York, allow only six bells to be rung at York Minster on those two days. Ringing on New Year’s Eve is not permitted.

The Revd Canon Vicky Johnson, Canon Precentor, at York Minster, said: “The Minster’s bell ringers will be taking a rest this New Year’s Eve and will be celebrating the arrival of 2021 in their homes. The automatic chimes on the Minster’s Great Peter Bell will be switched off as normal from 8pm until 8am.”

Urging everyone to bring in the New Year at home, Vicky continued:

“This most unusual and difficult year will draw to a very quiet close. The Minster will be quiet and still on New Year’s Eve. So for this year, we’re asking everyone not to gather at the Minster or elsewhere in the city. Please stay safe and celebrate the New Year at home with your loved ones.

“We must then all hope and pray that 2021 will be a better and kinder year.”

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