CHURCH bells across North Wales will ring out in solidarity with France after the fire which devastated Notre Dome Cathedral.

The Archbishop of Wales is joining the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to encourage all cathedrals and churches to toll a bell for seven minutes at around 7pm on Thursday (Maundy Thursday) as a sign of both sorrow for and solidarity with the people of France.

All the churches across the Diocese of St Asaph have been notified by the Bishop's office to participate.

St Asaph Cathedral will take part.

Rhyl Journal:

The Archbishop, John Davies, said: "The tolling of bells has, for generations, been a sign of mourning for the loss of someone precious and, although Notre Dame is a building, there is also a sense in which it is a vital part of the very heartbeat of Paris.

"The damage and destruction suffered to this holy and iconic site is something, therefore, which it feels quite proper for us to mourn. In doing so, we will also be expressing our hope that, from the ashes, will rise a building restored and renewed for its life’s purpose, to proclaim to the world the Good News of Christ.”

The initiative was suggested by the British Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn.

Speaking about the devastating fire, the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron said: "The Cathedral of Our Lady (Notre Dame) in Paris has been for centuries the focus of Christian life in France, and is much loved by visitors across the world.

"Many of us are therefore aghast by its near destruction by fire. Nevertheless, our God is a God of Resurrection and hope, and we must believe that it is possible to rebuild and rededicate this building. Already it is clear that the guardians of Notre Dame will have the help of the French Government and the help of the world in that aspiration.

"The fire perhaps challenges us all to ask whether we take for granted some of the ancient and significant places of prayer among which we live, almost without noticing, in Wales, and which bear witness to the same God of new life."

At 7pm tomorrow, before the Tenebrae service, St David’s Church in Connahs Quay will ring their bells in support and unity for the people of Notre Dame.