Church bells ring to remember
Church bells will ring 100 times at sunset on Sunday across Peterborough to mark the end of the First World War.
It’s called Bells of Peace, and it’s happening in cities across Canada. At exactly sunset on Sunday (which is Remembrance Day), churches from coast to coast will toll their bells 100 times to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that ended the First World War.
Sunset will be at 4:50 p.m. on Sunday in Peterborough, and bells will toll 100 times at churches including St. John’s Anglican, St. Luke’s Anglican, Emmanuel United Church and the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains.
Some churches in Peterborough County are participating too, such as St. Matthew & St. Aidan in Buckhorn.
This is happening in addition to the Remembrance Day ceremony at the war memorial in Confederation Square in the morning (the parade begins at 9:55 a.m. and returns to Confederation Square at 10:25 p.m., whereupon the ceremony begins).
St. John’s on Brock St. – the oldest church in Peterborough – has the only set of chimes in Peterborough that can play tunes.
The Last Post will be played there at sunset at 4:50 p.m. Sunday, before the bell tolls 100 times. Then Reveille will be played.
It will be part of a special Remembrance Day service that begins at 4 p.m. at St. John’s, said Rev. Brad Smith.
John Earnshaw, a parishioner at St. John’s, will be playing the chime on Sunday.
He said the woman who plays the Peace Tower carillon in Ottawa was asked by the Legion to search out every church in Canada that has a set of bells and ask them to participate.
The set of 15 bells at St. John’s is called the People’s Chime, he said, because they were purchased by subscription by the people of the City and County of Peterborough in 1911. “So the chime is even older than 100 years – we’re playing bells that were there at the time (of the end of the First World War),” Earnshaw said.
People who come to St. Luke’s on Sunday at sunset will get a chance to pull the massive rope to ring the bell. Organizers will allot a number of tolls to each person present - so if there’s a modest crowd, you may get to ring the bell more than once.