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Church bells bring message of hope

Church bells will ring out for a minute at noon tomorrow in a message of hope at a time of crisis.

Passionist priest Fr Gary Donegan said it came about after a member of the unionist community approached the Catholic Passionist Peace and Reconciliation office in Ardoyne.

Fr Donegan, director of the group, said the man told assistant director Brian McKee of how he had been moved by hearing the bells of Holy Cross Church ring out on Christmas Day and asked if they could be rung more often "at a time when people need to know they are not alone". "So we came up with the idea of church bells throughout Ireland ringing out a message of hope and solidarity at a time of so much stress and worry."

The message has been sent out on Facebook and Twitter, and the post was seen by over 100,000 people by yesterday afternoon.

Fr Donegan said: "It must be stressed that the bell-ringing must be in line with Government advice, and that the initiative is for bell-ringing by one person.

"For the duration of the minute people of all faiths and none are invited to pause for thought and think of each other. It is also in support of our NHS and other services doing such heroic work."

Belfast Telegraph