Notre-Dame fire: Scots churches urged to ring bells in solidarity

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Cathedrals and churches are being urged by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland to ring their bells in solidarity with Paris following the devastating fire that struck the Notre-Dame cathedral.

The legendary Gothic landmark, which has stood for nearly 850 years, suffered extensive damage following the fire, which destroyed the steeple and much of the roof.

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Rt Rev Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly, urged Kirk congregations to ring their bells where possible at 7pm tomorrow evening, which would be almost exactly three days since the fire broke out.

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Susan Brown has urged churches to ring bells after the Notre-Dame fire.Susan Brown has urged churches to ring bells after the Notre-Dame fire.
Susan Brown has urged churches to ring bells after the Notre-Dame fire.

Donations to restore the Unesco World Heritage site, one of the most enduring landmarks in Western Europe, have reached £700m as a number of France’s most prominent business leaders and families made public their desire to aid the work.

Mrs Brown said: “The world has been shocked and saddened by the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

“The reaction is so great because the Church is more than ‘just’ a building.

“Many buildings, as well as being worship spaces, are a celebration of the gifts of stone masons, carpenters, glass makers, artists and musicians.

“They also house history and Notre Dame is one such church.

“In sympathy and solidarity with the people of Paris, I would encourage our churches and cathedrals, where possible, to ring their bells at 7pm on Thursday for seven minutes.”

Rev Jan Steyn, minister of the Scots Kirk in Paris, said: “Notre Dame is a tourist attraction, a place of worship, a refuge, a character in movies and novels.

“But for millions of people it is an icon, a home, a place with personality.

“For Parisians, Notre Dame is a calming presence and a reminder of the bigger presence.

“It is a place revered by a nation even though France is a secular state.”

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