United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Bells To Toll Across the Globe With Message of Hope for Refugees and Immigrants

On Sunday March 19 bells will ring out around the globe in solidarity with immigrants and refugees who are facing increasing racism and xenophobia throughout the world. The ‘Joy Bells’ initiative started in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, (pictured) and is the brainchild of Dean Maria Jansson. The wave of empathy has spread and the Joy Bells will now be sounded on five continents on Sunday week.

Christ Church Cathedral Waterford
Christ Church Cathedral Waterford

Former President, Dr Mary McAleese, will ring the bells in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, after the 10.00 am Eucharist on March 19. Dean Jansson is encouraging churches and places of worship all over Ireland and the world to join Waterford in ringing their bells as a protest against the “cacophony of hatred which gets more frightening every day across Europe”.

In Dublin & Glendalough, Archbishop Michael Jackson has welcomed the movement. “I would like to commend the Joy Bells initiative,” he said.  “Last December I, alongside a large number of other Faith Leaders, signed the Dublin City Inter Faith Charter, a concept brought forward by Dublin City Interfaith Forum and Dublin’s Lord Mayor. It promotes religious freedom, interfaith dialogue and religious diversity in the city. The Joy Bells initiative takes another step with church bells tolling around the world in solidarity with all who are terrified by the growing acceptance of hatred and racism, increased fear and suspicion of ‘the other’ and all who are affected by deepening divisions.”

The bells of Christ Church, Waterford, are known locally as the ‘Joy Bells’. They have been silenced while undergoing renovation but will ring again next Sunday week. Dr McAleese will give the address in the cathedral that morning.

Dean Jansson points out that bells can sound alarm but also solidarity. “Bells are part of many cultures and religions, ringing out the old and ringing in the new. Their sound will herald joy not hate, welcome not exclusion, co–responsibility not exploitation. It is time for the Christian message of love to be proclaimed in solidarity with women and men terrified by the increased legitimising of hate that has emerged over the last months. We will ring out hate, xenophobia, exploitation and fear and ring in a call for solidarity, truth and justice,” she stated.

Christians across the world are invited to ring their bells on March 19 in protest and in solidarity and to spread the word far and wide about this peal. Sign in on: www.christchurchwaterford.com