Special Events

JULY 2021

With the City reopening, the bells of the City churches returned with a full day’s programme of ringing.

The day started at 9:20am with the ringing of Great Paul at St Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of the Lord Mayor and the Bishop of London. This is the largest swinging bell in the UK and has not been rung for over 10 years. At 9:30am, the cries of Great Paul were answered by the ringing of the 12 Bow Bells at St Mary-le-Bow on Cheapside and then one by one, other churches in the City.


The Bishop of London opening the Festival of Bells pulling on Great Paul, the country’s largest church bell

The Lord Mayor joining the Bishop in pulling on Great Paul, which has not been rung for over 10 years

Throughout the day 165 bells from the towers of 19 churches rang out. This included the Royal Jubilee Bells at St James Garlickhythe, the ancient 16th century bells at St Bartholomew the Great, and the Coronation Bells at St Olave, Hart Street. The day included full peals of over 5,000 changes lasting 3½ hours at St Magnus the Martyr and St Michael’s Cornhill, and 2 carillon recitals at All Hallows-by-the-Tower. Over 150 ringers came into London to take part in the day’s festival.

The quarter peal at St James Garlickhythe
The Carillon at All Hallows by the Tower

The day concluded with an encore by Great Paul at 3:30pm, this time joined by the mighty 12 bells in the other tower of St Paul’s Cathedral.

All the bells were rung by skilled bellringers, and over 150 of them travelled into London for the festival, including members of the three main London societies of the Ancient Society of College Youths, the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths and the Middlesex County Association.

The programme of events was as follows:


June 2021

In June we welcomed people back to the City with a series of Celebrity
Guided Tours and Special Events across the churches in aid of our charity partner XLP.

XLP is about creating positive futures for young people growing up on inner-city London estates, struggling daily with issues such as family breakdown, unemployment and educational failure, and living in areas that experience high levels of anti-social behaviour and gang violence. Every year XLP helps over 4,500 young people recognise their full potential. We believe positive, long-term relationships can restore a young person’s trust in people, nurture the belief that things can change and encourage them to set positive goals and work hard to achieve​ them. 

Visit XLP website