Church bells in Downpatrick ring out as sign of Christian unity

Church bells in Downpatrick ring out as sign of Christian unity

18 March 2020

CHURCH bells rang out in Downpatrick yesterday in the spirit of Christian unity.

The bells of Down Cathedral and St Patrick’s Church were rung in unison at 1pm as people gathered at St Patrick’s grave to pray for protection and healing in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.

At the same time bells were also rung in churches around the globe, including St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York as part of a worldwide moment of prayer.

The initiative was the brainchild of Dr Tim Campbell, director of the St Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.

“This is the true spirit of St Patrick,” he said. “Christian faith, hope and love are the true legacy of St Patrick and we ask everyone to unite with us in spirit at this time.”

The Dean of Down Cathedral, the Very Rev Henry Hull, said: “This is an inspired idea which fills me with joy and hope.

“St Patrick was a source of enlightenment for our ancestors. He was a man of faith who had to overcome many trials in his life and he knew the power of prayer. St Patrick’s breastplate put God at the centre of life as he is the source of life.

Father John Murray, Parish Priest of Downpatrick, said: “St Patrick’s Day is a chance to remember what is most important in life and that we should put God first. And through him we shall overcome.”