Churches around Aotearoa New Zealand have been asked to ring their bells 50 times at exactly 3pm this afternoon, ringing once for each of those who died in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque in Riccarton and Linwood Islamic Centre last week.
In a letter sent to churches yesterday, Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop Philip Richardson and Archbishop Don Tamihere called on churches to ring their bells as an expression of the love and support from communities across the motu for all the victims and communities hurt by the terrorist attack.
“This is to be a tangible expression of aroha and solidarity from communities across Aotearoa / New Zealand.” they wrote.
“The bells of our churches are another way that the voices of all our communities across this country can be heard.”
Archbishop Philip added that for communities who live far from other opportunities to express support, like going to a mosque or attending a vigil, bell-ringing is a way to show solidarity where people are.
The archbishops proposed tolling memorial bells after careful discussion with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet who are representing those Government agencies working with the Christchurch Muslim community.
The ringing of bells 50 times at exactly 3pm has been carefully timed to occur between the broadcast call to prayer starting at 1.30 pm this afternoon and the funerals of victims which will take place at 4.00 pm today.