Stronger Together

Salford Manchester. (Sacred Trinity) 23 May, 1260 Grandsire Triples

James A Coleman 1, James E Hibbert 2, Philip E Chandler 3, Martyn J Owen 4, Samuel L Haste 5, Malcolm Murphy 6, K George Lee (C) 7, Stephen R Aldridge 8.

Rung half-muffled after practice. Remembering the victims of the bomb at the nearby Manchester Arena. (This church is some 500 metres from the Arena). Laura Turner, Philippa Stokoe, Ciara Billings, Wendy Lee, Mark Tearle and Andrew Tyler also attended the practice and would like to be associated with this quarter peal.

Stretford Manchester. 27 May, 1296 Plain Bob Major

Laura D Turner 1, Wendy M Lee 2, Tim J Calvert 3, Malcolm Murphy 4, James A Coleman 5, Dennis Latham 6, James E Hibbert 7, K George Lee (C) 8.

Thinking of the injured casualties from the Arena bomb, many of whom are still patients in various hospitals around Manchester.

Manchester (Cathedral) 28 May, 1260 Grandsire Triples

Wendy M Lee 1, Samuel L Haste 2, Robert Hodgetts 3, Laura D Turner 4, James A Coleman 5, Malcolm Murphy 6, K George Lee (C) 7, Keith A Simpson 8.

For evening prayer. Rung to celebrate the Spirit of the People of Manchester, in the wake of the recent atrocity at the Manchester Arena. The Cathedral is the nearest tower to the Arena, only some 200 metres away.

Manchester was absolutely stunned by the horrendous events of the night of Monday, 22nd May - events which the media reported so graphically. Our hearts went out to the victims, the casualties, the families affected and the emergency service personnel involved. Wonderful examples of selflessness, heroism, compassion and human kindness were seen in the response of the people of Manchester. However, during the subsequent week the city's feelings changed from shock and horror to resilience and defiance. There was a gritty determination that the major events planned for the holiday weekend should not be disrupted, and they weren't - if anything, they were enhanced.

By the following day a police security cordon was placed around the city centre, which included the Cathedral. Many roads were closed, and any available parking space was quickly occupied by TV outside broadcasting vans. The Manchester Universities' Guild practice at Sacred Trinity Salford carried on, with the bells half-muffled. An impromptu quarter peal was rung after the practice in memory of the victims.

A further quarter was arranged on the Saturday at Stretford, this time with the injured survivors in mind – particularly those still in hospitals around Manchester.

By Sunday the police cordon around the Cathedral had been relaxed, and a quarter was arranged at short notice which coincided with the end of the Great Manchester Run. Security checks at the door of the Cathedral were slightly unnerving - you don't often have your bags searched on your way to ringing! Apparently many folk passing by outside stopped to listen to and record the ringing during the afternoon. It was decided that the footnote should celebrate the indomitable Spirit of the People of Manchester - this is, quite rightly, the final message the bells of Manchester have sent out over the city during the week.

K. George Lee

How it all began:

It was announced at the end of November 2016 that Manchester Cathedral had been awarded a £500,000 grant from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

“The final phase of a two year grants programme to English cathedrals for urgent repairs has been announced. Grants totalling £5,423,000 have been awarded to 24 Church of England and Catholic cathedrals for repairs including to stained glass windows, stone pinnacles, and roofs as well as drainage and lighting. Manchester Cathedral has been awarded £500,000 for emergency repair works needed to its tower”

The work at Manchester will include a new flat roof on the tower, replacement of the louvers and removal of painted finish to the ringing chamber walls from the ceiling to the level of the coat hangers. We did ask if sound control could be included but the idea was unfortunately dismissed. 
The tower was handed to the contractors on Friday 19th May 2017 thus becoming a building site with restricted access. As the following weekend was a Bank Holiday we asked the Cathedral Administrator if he could secure a stay of execution to enable us to ring for the annual Whit Walks on the Bank Holiday Monday, this he succeeded in doing. In the meantime the terrible events of the Arena bombing placed the Cathedral within the police cordon until the following Thursday but as we had been granted permission to ring up to the holiday Monday we managed a band to ring a quarter peal on the day before to celebrate the Spirit of the People of Manchester, in the wake of the recent atrocity at the Manchester Arena. The Dean asked why the bells were ringing on Sunday afternoon, and when we sent him the link to Bellboard he kindly placed it on the Cathedral Facebook page. So, we rang another quarter peal for the walks, took the ropes off the bells and locked the tower door. The work is expected to last in the region of 12 months but hopefully will be less. The contents of the Ringing Chamber including the LACR Library are being stored at Sacred Trinity Church and can be accessed if required.
Please note that there will be no ringing at St Michael’s Croston from Monday June 5th until at least the end of October during major repair/renovation work on the church.  Depending on what is uncovered during the renovations the work may take longer.