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Page last updated at 09:00 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 10:00 UK
Ringing for England at St Peter's
Leeds Parish Church
There is a long history of bell ringing at Leeds Parish Church

English church bells will ring out in a celebration of St George's Day.

Leeds Parish Church will make sure Leeds is heard in the national peal, called Ringing for England.

Other churches in the celebration include St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, and Wakefield Cathedral.

For centuries bells have sounded out to mark moments of celebration, mourning, and even threatened invasion.

The bells will ring out in Leeds between 6 and 7pm on Friday, 23 April.

Steven Ollerton is the Tower Captain at St Peter's, the parish church, and explains what is behind the scheme.

"St George's Day just doesn't seem to happen for us, this is a good way of putting it on the map and making people aware that this is our national day."

Wendy Bloom is one of the ringers taking part and is certain that the tribute is a good one, " Bells are quintessentially English, part of our soundtrack."

The St Peter's Society of Change Ringers has a busy schedule ringing for various Sunday and mid-week services, Holy Days, and a practice night.

St George
A traditional stained glass image of St George

About 30 people are involved in bell ringing at St Peter's and were ranked eighth in the 2009 National 12 bell Striking held at St Paul's Cathedral.

The first peal rung at the church was in 1742. It consisted of 5,040 changes of Grandsire Triples and took just over three hours.

In 1842, when the present church building was completed, the tower contained the world's first ring of 13 (cast by Mears and Stainbank of London). These bells were also reputed to be the first ever to travel by rail.

The current bells were cast by John Taylor of Loughborough in 1932 and are adjudged to have a fine tone It's a ring of 12 in the key of C major, with an additional bell allowing a lighter eight to be rung in the key of F major. The heaviest bell in the tower is just over two tons.

Saint George is the patron saint of England. He's popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry - but actually he wasn't English at all. Very little, if anything, is known about the real Saint George. Pope Gelasius said that George is one of the saints "whose names are rightly reverenced among us, but whose actions are known only to God."



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