Tolling the Devil’s Knell
Time Period: Traditional
Performer / Organiser: Dewsbury Minster Church
24th December at Minster Church of All Saints, Dewsbury, Yorkshire.
Starting at around 10.30 pm, the bell-ringers toll the tenor bell once for every year since Christ was born – so this year that will be 2017 times. The ringing is timed so that the last stroke is rung at exactly midnight. The exact origins of this tradition are still unknown: one theory is that Black Tom de Soothill, a local landowner, presented the church bell as penance for murdering a servant. An alternative theory suggests it’s rung as a passing-bell because the Devil died when Jesus was born. A service takes place in the church during the ringing.
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