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Bell ringers’ group refuses to back calls for local churches to mark UK’s departure from the EU 

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Bell ringers’ group refuses to back calls for local churches to mark UK’s departure from the EU

  • The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers said it did not support Leave.EU’s call
  • Spokesman said the council ‘does not endorse bellringing for political reasons’
  • Leave.EU founder Arron Banks claimed it had been ‘overwhelmed by bellringers’ 

Brexiteer demands that church bells up and down the country sound out the occasion have fallen on deaf ears with congregations.

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers said it did not support Leave.EU’s call for local churches to mark the occasion at 9am on Saturday, February 1.

A spokesman said ‘as a principal [it] does not endorse bellringing for political reasons’.

The row erupted this week after it emerged MPs had discussed restoring Big Ben in order for it to ring out once the UK leaves the EU. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth Tower which holds the bell known as Big Ben

Leave.EU founder Arron Banks claimed it had been ‘overwhelmed by bellringers’ who wanted the occasion to be marked ‘with or without permission’.

But canon F8 of Church of England policy states only a minister can direct that bells of a church or chapel ring.

The Bishop of Buckingham, the Right Rev Alan Wilson, told The Times: ‘Two thirds of the population never voted for Brexit in the first place. It’s deeply divisive to ring church bells for something like this.’

The row erupted this week after it emerged MPs had discussed restoring Big Ben in order for it to ring out once the UK leaves the EU. 

Leave.EU founder Arron Banks claimed it had been 'overwhelmed by bellringers' who wanted the occasion to be marked 'with or without permission'

Leave.EU founder Arron Banks claimed it had been ‘overwhelmed by bellringers’ who wanted the occasion to be marked ‘with or without permission’

After a meeting of the House of Commons Commission, it was ruled out when it was revealed it could cost £500,000.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is chairman of the Commission, said they believed ‘it is important to weigh up the costs’.

‘We also have to bear in mind that the only people who will hear it will be those who live near or are visiting Westminster,’ he added.

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