Region organizes daily bell ringing in support of essential workers

  • The Jaffrey Meetinghouse File photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/10/2020 1:09:45 PM
Modified: 4/10/2020 1:09:28 PM

This Sunday, at 6 p.m., bells around Jaffrey are set to ring out in recognition of those who are working on the front lines.

It’s not just first responders and hospital workers, Jaffrey Democrats Chair Bill Weibel said Wednesday; grocery store workers, clerical jobs, cleaning jobs, things that cannot be done remotely but are still considered essential to keeping society working, are all included.

The tribute, organized by the Jaffrey Democrats, is expected to start on Easter Sunday, but carry on daily until the end of the coronavirus crisis.

Weibel said the Jaffrey Democrats are working on other, more direct ways to assist the community during the coronavirus crisis, including mask making, Weibel said, but bell ringing was one idea that was offered as a way to show support and lift community spirit.

“This came up last weekend, and we made a few phone calls, and before we knew it, it was all over the area,” Weibel said. “It’s been really inspiring to see how fast it’s been picked up.”

And he’d like to see it spread further.

Beginning this Sunday and continuing every night thereafter, St. Patrick’s Church, United Church and the Meeting House will ring their bells for two minutes. Those churches, along with most of the other churches in town, are also encouraging their congregations to come out of their houses and ring bells – or bang pots and pans – and say hello to their neighbors.

The ringing will last for two minutes.

Weibel said he’s encouraging other communities with church bells to sign on to the project, and for congregants of local churches to contact their church leaders to get their own congregations on board.

The initiative was also announced via the Monadnock Tonight! livestream produced by the Jaffrey Park Theatre.

“The Bell Ringing is a thank you to all of the nurses, doctors, hospital workers, letter carriers, UPS, FedEx, grocery store employees, restaurants, etc. that are putting themselves in harm's way to help others,” Steve Jackson, Managing Director of the Park Theatre said in an email to the Ledger-Transcript on Wednesday.

“The more the merrier. If we can have bells ringing throughout the Monadnock region, that would be great,” Weibel said. “That’s a New England tradition anyway. That’s where the idea came from, and it has blossomed wonderfully.”

While the bell ringing is meant to be a movement to represent solidarity, Weibel said the Jaffrey Democrats is not suggesting or condoning any public group gatherings.

“Do it on your steps, or your porch, or just open you window. Wave hello to your neighbor who you haven’t seen in awhile,” Weibel said.

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