York & North Yorkshire

York Minster bells ring out for Easter despite row

The congregation inside York Minster
Image caption The bells began to toll shortly before 09:00 BST for services

The bells of York Minster have rung out again for Easter Sunday.

The bells have been silent on all but three occasions since October after the Minster Chapter dismissed its 30-strong team of bell-ringers due to "safeguarding issues".

But a number of volunteers offered their services to mark one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.

The bells began to toll shortly before 09:00 BST for services.

John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, preached the Easter Sermon inside the minster.

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Media captionThe bells have only been rung three times, including the service of Nine Lessons and Carols, since October.

At the time of the October dismissals, he said action was taken regarding a member of the bell-ringing community on "safeguarding grounds".

He added: "This came after complex multi-agency activity involving City of York Council, York Diocese Safeguarding Adviser and the Church of England's National Safeguarding Officer.

"The decision was taken in line with advice from safeguarding professionals and with regard to national policies and guidance, including the Church of England's on minimising risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults."

Following the dismissals a paid head of Bell Tower has since been recruited and a new permanent team of volunteer bell-ringers is being put together.

Members of the dismissed team will be able to apply, the cathedral authorities previously said.

The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull, The Dean of York Minster, said: "We need to make sure that our bell tower, alongside everything else in York Minster, is open and safe for children, young people as well as adults."

The bells were previously rung for the service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Christmas.

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