SEE US IN A NEW LIGHT
Newcastle Cathedral has a long tradition of bell-ringing, going back hundreds of years. The iconic Lantern Tower had bells in it as early as the fifteenth century.
The oldest bell was cast between 1385 and 1418 and is called Michael. It is the bell rung out for all occasions of national mourning or rejoicing. The Lantern Tower with its incredible and intricate design was the tallest landmark in the town for centuries and was designed to be a beacon for ships coming up the Tyne.
By the middle of the eighteenth century, the renowned local historian Henry Bourne said the bells “have a bold and noble sound, and yet an exceedingly sweet and harmonious one.” There are currently 13 ringing bells and three fifteenth century ones. The biggest bell, The Major, weighs nearly 6 tonnes!
Today, the bells at Newcastle are rung by the Newcastle Guild, members of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association of Change Ringers. They are all volunteers and range in age from 20s to 93 – the 100+ steps to the bell-ringing chamber keeps them fit. Newcastle Cathedral’s bells are some of the finest in the country and we have hosted many bell-ringing groups from all over the country.
Bell ringing occurs every Sunday throughout the year at the following times:
9:00am to 10:00am for Morning Eucharist
2:45pm to 4:00pm for Choral Evensong
Occasionally these times are subject to change, depending on the liturgical calendar and, for example, whether any special events or wedding bookings request bell ringing. Newcastle Cathedral will always endeavour to publish any changes as soon as possible.
Additionally, bell ringing practice occurs every Tuesday evening throughout the year from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. On the 3rd Tuesday of the month the practice is from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. There is no bell ringing practice in Holy Week.
For details of additional bell ringing occurring during 2020 falling outside of the aforementioned times above, please see table below:
|Date||Time||Reason for ringing|
|Wed 11 Mar||11:00am-12:00noon||Commonwealth Day|
|Tue 21 Apr||10:30am-11:30am||HM Queen Birthday|
|Thu 23 Apr||10:30am-11:30am||St George’s Day|
|Fri 8 May||10:30am-11:30am||75th Anniversary VE Day|
|Sat 23 May||TBC||Lord Mayors Day|
|Sat 13 Jun||10:30am-11:30am||HM Queen Official Birthday|
|Sat 19 Sep||2:00pm-6:00pm||ASCY Peal|
|Wed 11 Nov||TBC||Memorial ringing|
|Sat 14 Nov||10:30am-11:30am||HRH Prince Charles’ Birthday|
|Sat 21 Nov||2:00pm-6:00pm||SCRY Peal|
|Sun 6 Dec||12:00noon-4:00pm||Patronal Festival peal|