Bells Unbound !

At Noon on Sunday 25th March 2007 there was a world-wide ringing commemoration of the exact moment the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act became law in 1807. This was your Call to Action for a world-wide ring of Freedom!! The deed still resonates – the crime still happens. Join us and tell us what you did!!

Bells Unbound took place at the precise moment (midday) that George III signed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 200 years ago. Bells Unbound is a commemoration of slaves, a celebration of this resonant act – and a wake-up call for the world today.

Bells Unbound invited you to get ringing, get thinking, get involved. At noon on 25th March bells sounded – in Churches, on bicycles, on front doors, the sturdy calves of Morris dancers and world-wide everywhere that bells hang out! This was your moment to find a bell – expand the concept – make the moment yours and make it ring!

In Bristol, a city whose involvement in the slave trade created great prosperity, The Pierian Centre and Bristol City Churches united in Bells Unbound to commemorate the lives crushed by slavery – to celebrate the attempt to end the Trade – and to issue a wake-up call to alert the world to the existence of modern forms of slavery. We wanted Bells Unbound to be both solemn and celebratory but we also wanted it to be involving. We wanted everyone in every corner of the land, in every corner of the globe, to rack their brains for ways to make the occasion “ring”. What were your ideas? Let us know!

It was also a moment to reflect on how far we still have to go to realise the dream that Martin Luther King had 44 years ago.

“From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

We also have a dream – to have freedom ring round the world at noon (local time) on Sunday 25th March 2007. At noon we rang bells – church bells, handbells, gongs, bells on morris dancers, bells in pubs and on bicycles. You joined us to ring them loud for 5 minutes in a ring of Freedom around the world. Tell everyone and anyone you know!! We talked to heads of churches and all religions (this is very much a non-denominational event), local groups of all sorts, and we wanted to expand it to an international initiative about an issue which many simply ignore. Slavery is in our sights this year as an historical barbarity, but the practice has not stopped simply because an Act was passed 200 years ago. Slavery has changed its shape and become part of our modern world.

The aim is to raise awareness and raise our spirits – to celebrate and reflect. The achievements of the past need acknowledgement, but they also need scrutiny. The practices of the present need close examination. The Slave Trade may be illegal, but are we living in a world where consumers and the wealthy still profit from slave-like terms of trade? Bells Unbound, an attempt to make thought and action ring round the country – to synchronize a mass marking of a moment in the past and how it resonates today. An act of physical and imaginative participation, for bells to ring, bells of every type – and rack your brains to see the chains that still enslave so many around the world.

Bells Unbound was part of a weekend of events at the Pierian Centre. An art exhibition Slavery, Power and Freedom ran from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th March. The launch of Satan’s Kingdom – Bristol and the Transatlantic Slave Trade a new book by Pip Jones, took place at 6.30pm on the Saturday. The book launch is followed at 7.30pm by a Public Discussion Abolition – or just a change of Chains? led by a panel of provocative speakers. And at noon on the Sunday, while St Stephens, St Mary Redcliffe & Bristol Cathedral each rang a peal, at the Pierian Centre itself it was “bring a bell” – any bell – at 11.45am in time for the mass ding-a-ling at noon.

Bells Unbound rang out from the Pierian Centre, Bristol City Churches – and a million other centres of celebration. And at 3pm Bristol Cathedral held a special service of Commemoration.

The Bells! The Bells!

You found any type of bell and rang it at 12 Noon on Sunday 25th March 2007.

You picked up your cowbells or borrowed one from a friend!

You rang them until the cows come home!

Further Events at THE PIERIAN CENTRE on Abolition Weekend

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th March, 10am – 5pm

Art Exhibition: “Slavery, Power and Freedom”

Slavery, Power and Freedom An exhibition of new work marking the abolition of the Slave Trade 200 years ago. The show filled this beautiful Grade-1-listed Georgian building, and tackled a painful topic with insight, wit and inspiration.

Slavery, Power and Freedom is the work of some of the South West’s finest artists, and explores the bitter-sweet resonance of Abolition. Paint, sculpture, photography, textile, film and installation are used to express different responses to this provocative issue.

Among the works are:

Carly McDonough & James Stokes’ photographic survey, “Maid in South Africa”;

Sarah Braun’s spectacular textile hanging;

Projects from local youth groups, including pictures from Bread Youth Project’s recent Ghana trip – the basis of an exhibition in May at Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery.

Ros Martin (from Our History, Our Heritage) is screening 2 short films, UNSUNG NO MORE and BUYING INTO BANANA’S LIBERTY – part of their project work with students at St Barnabas School;


Martin Hubbard of had excerpts from his project retracing the triangle of the Transatlantic slave trade in his boat;

And a wealth of powerful and varied work by Deasy Bamford, Esola Campbell Baker, students from Florence Brown School, Tamayo Hussey, Peter Metelerkamp, Ricky Romain, Rose Thorne and Helen Wilson.

The show ran throughout the weekend of 24th & 25th March, 10am – 5pm both day

The evening started with the launch of :

“Satan’s Kingdom – Bristol and the Transatlantic Slave Trade”

a new book which gives an important new perspective on Bristol’s slave trading by historian Pip Jones.

Satan’s Kingdom provides a context for the current debate about slavery. It describes and informs, in an accessible format, the role of Bristol in the slave trade and in its subsequent abolition.

The aim of this project was to produce an illustrated account of Bristol’s role in the transatlantic trade, to be used as a resource by schools, colleges and community groups.

The author, Pip Jones, is the co-author of ‘The Black Population of Bristol in the 18th Century’ (Historical Association). She worked at Bristol Museum for 15 years and is an approved teacher at Bristol University. She has been lecturing on Bristol and the slave trade to local societies and groups for about twelve years.

Sue Giles, Curator of Ethnography, has provided the first edit. The curators of the Bristol Museums have advised on the illustrations, many provided from the Museum’s collections.

Past and Present Press is a founder member of Bristol Books and Publishers, an organisation supported by the Creative Industries Initiative of Bristol City Council :

With drinks & refreshments and a chance to catch the Art Exhibition at the same time!

“Abolition – or just a change of Chains?”

Public Discussion with a powerful panel including :
Pip Jones (author of “Satan’s Kingdom” – see above)
Dr Christien van den Anker (Reader in Politics, UWE)
artist Helen Wilson :
and Martin Hubbard of Sameboat Project :

You, the audience were critical to this open discussion!
We looked at all aspects of slavery, its history and impact, and in particular the question of modern slavery practices which still continue to this day.

From trafficking to counterfeiting, we live alongside these issues every time we go shopping.

Bells Unbound took place at the precise moment (midday) that George III signed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 200 years ago.

Bells Unbound A commemoration of slaves, a celebration of this resonant act – and a wake-up call for the world today. Bells Unbound invites you to get ringing, to get involved.

At noon on 25th March bells sounded – in Churches, on bicycles, on front doors, the sturdy calves of Morris dancers and world-wide everywhere that bells hang out!

This was your moment. You found a bell – expanded the concept – and found a way to make the moment resonate!

And at noon on the Sunday, while St Stephens, St Mary Redcliffe & the Cathedral each rang a peal, at the Pierian Centre itself it was “bring a bell” – any bell – at 11.45am in time for the mass ding-a-ling at noon.

NEWS RELEASE : Bristol Cathedral – A Special Service of Commemoration

Commemoration of Slavery Act 1807 : Bristol Cathedral 25th March 2007

‘The first piece of human rights law in Europe’ is a good way to label the Act of Parliament to Abolish the Slave Trade. This Act passed into law on 25th March 1807. Exactly 200 hundred years later, on Sunday 25th March 2007 at 3.00pm, there will be an Act of Commemoration in Bristol Cathedral. Over the last year the planning has brought together leaders of the black churches of Bristol and community representatives who have shaped this historic event around the themes of Remembrance, Reconciliation and Healing.

Everyone who would like a seat in the Cathedral for this service should request an invitation ticket from the Abolition 200 Department, Bristol City Council. There is a limited supply and these will be distributed to ‘first-come-first-served’.

In the presence of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester members of communities across Bristol will gather in the Cathedral for a ‘people’s service’. Two leading speakers, Dr Anthony Reddie, a distinguished writer of black  theology and the  Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton, the Right Revd Declan Lang will contribute addresses. Gospel choirs will lead the worship and a solemn procession will bring ocean water up from the harbour to the accompaniment of traditional music. The band of the Royal Marines will be on the harbourside reminding us of their role on the high seas enforcing the 1807 abolition of the slave trade

An Act of Recognition formed a central part of the service. This made a visible sign in which we recognised that there is only one race, the human race, and that in our human diversity we are created equal.

Bishop Mike, the Bishop of Bristol, drew everyone into a closing Act of Resolve as we stood together seeking justice in our city and divided world.

In the years before 1807 a ship a week left Bristol to engage in the trans-Atlantic slave trade resulting in the expansion of the city’s wealth. The struggle to end the slave trade was a cause of division amongst the churches. Many in Bristol would say that this commemoration and recognition is well overdue. It is therefore fitting that this people’s service should take place in the harbourside Cathedral of Bristol with and act of recognition including water from the ocean.

There are those who ask what will be our legacy from 2007.  The Churches Together national network with the name ‘Set All Free’ has committed itself to remember and commemorate these shameful events of our history.  This same network helps us to see that celebrating the endurance and labour of the abolitionists must also inspire the churches to connect and engage with current injustices and global concerns.

Canon Tim Higgins (City Canon) & June Burrough

Outline Of Service

The service at Bristol Cathedral was planned in response and in collaboration with the Council of Black Church in Bristol. The shape of the worship is a consequence of a fruitful process over some months in which we have developed understanding and insight.

Music in the service was led by gospel choirs brought together for the day and the hymn Amazing Grace was a major moment in that aspect of the worship. There were two addresses which dealt with the themes set for the the service, Remembrance, Reconciliation Hope and Healing. One speaker will be the Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton, Bristol, the Rt Revd Declan Lang.  Dr Anthony Reddie, author and teacher of Black Theology is the other speaker.

Towards the end of the service an Act of Recognition gave voice to the legacy of the slave trade. Representatives of Bristol communities lead a dialogue with the whole gathering to express a recognition of the injustice and shame of the slave trade. As these words are said the representatives gathered around a large vessel in which they poured water which, before the service, they carried from the harbour. Together the representatives will place their hands beneath this water of the ocean, water which carried the slave ships. As they withdrew their hands they dryed each others hands in a mutual act of recognition. Traditional music with rootes in West Africa accompanied this simple ritual.

The themes of the worship were drawn together by the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill.  The Bishop then lead the whole congregation into an Act of Resolve looking forward with the convication that the new life of God’s ways of justice and peace must draw all people to engage with issues of health and housing, education and employment, nurturing communities of aspiration and human flourishing for all people. This is the legacy looked for from this bicentenary commemoration of this dark period in our histories.

The Cathedral is privileged to be a participant and is keen to build on the rich experience of this commemoration.

Post-Commemoration UPDATES…

  • Here is the promised photograph. Derrick Dodson (Maximo Engineer) on one end of the pole, myself on the other. The site is the lit chart table area at the back of the Aurora’s bridge; it was of course dark outside and on the other side of the curtain the Officer of the Watch was standing his duty as the ship steadily managed heavy seas and strong winds, blowing snow and passing bergs. On his knees, Captain Murray Doyle is ringing the bell and in the background with camera is the 1st mate Gary. I can confirm that all are more than pleased for their image and names to be used. Best wishes mate, Kim
    Thanks Kim. For my part a lone bell rang out on the wharf at Davis and at least one mind in Antarctica contemplated what it meant to be free to make choices for oneself and to be allowed to have an opinion. Please thank all those involved. Cheers, Graham Cook.
  • I rang my bike bell on Dartmoor, but as there was noone around there was no effect. I did circulate the Round Robin to staff in the School of Arts, Languages and Literatures, and had supportive responses. A friend played the cello in Westminster Abbey and was clearly visible behind the protester. A colleague and I discussed this, this morning, and thought that the protester’s remarks, “Let Go of Me” were particularly appropriate. Bob
  • Salford Roman Catholic Cathedral – in conjunction with many other cathedrals and churches – joined the ringing commemoration of the moment the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, signed by King George III, became law in 1807.
  • The Quaker Meeting in Hampton Road, Redland, Bristol finished 5 minutes early to give everyone a chance to get out into the street and join in Bells Unbound.
  • On the Alumni webpage of “Hebron School in Tamil Nadu, South India”, CarolynJoy posted news of Bells Unbound, ending with the message, “Let’s make a noise!!!” To which Queenie R. Keir replied “I didn’t have a bell but I used a knife tapping lightly on a glass. This is an important moment although there are still some terrible things happening out there. We had a series in our local Ottawa, Canada, newspapers this past summer recounting the travels and travails as slaves fled the U.S. and tried to make it to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Although they were not home free even then, many were able to make a better life for themselves and their families. Today, there was a page article similar to the one on the web site. Thanks for making us remember.”
  • St James the Great, Winscombe (North Somerset) rang the bells for 10 minutes at 12noon on Sunday, Good striking from the learners and experienced! Fiona Slade-Deputy ringing master.
  • St. Mary’s Parish Church, Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire. 5pm Sunday 25th March 2007. Prior to sung evensong, a quarter peal attempt of 1,260 changes. If sucessful, will publish details here, and in the ringing world. Mike Holt, Tower Captain and Correspondent.
  • James Newton: The bell ringers of St.Mary Arnold, Nottingham rang 5 minutes of Plain Bob Minimus at 12 noon 25th March for Freedom Sunday.
  • Tony Foster: The home band of bellringers at St. Mary’s, Holme-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk, England will be ringing at noon on Sunday 25th March, 2007 to join the chorus of celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Act to Abolish Slavery.
  • We rang at noon today here in Miami. Thanks for letting us know about this important anniversary. I actually heard about it on the news this morning.
    Best regards, Rob Bannister (Tower Captain, Trinity Cathedral, Miami).
  • Graham writes from Antarctica: Hi June, I just wanted to let you know that your call for all to ring a bell for freedom did not go unnoticed. For my part a lone bell was sounded as I stood overlooking the forming sea ice at the bottom end of this amazing planet while snow silently fell around me at Davis Station on the Antarctic continent. I stood there alone and contemplated how lucky I was to be free to make the choices that allowed me to be in this incredible place and the injustice that continues to rob others of this freedom and many other basic human rights.
    Following is an email from my Boss who at Noon or 12:00 Zulu was on board the icebreaker Aurora Australis about 500 nautical miles north of Casey Station in the Southern Ocean.
  • “Evening Graham, Thought I should report in that we sounded a bell at 251200z this evening. I hope I remembered your advice about the time correctly.
    Murray repatriated the ship’s brass bell from it’s stowage and brought it to the bridge; a small number of good looking sensitive souls gathered at the appropriate time, Derrick Dodson and I hoisted it to our shoulders on a pole and at the appointed hour Murray rang a strong clear peal form the Southern Ocean to join those echoing around the rest of the world today! Robb Clifton and Mick Davidson recorded the vent for posterity.
    Thanks for bringing this opportunity to my attention – like you we kept it discreet, no preaching or banging of drums …. just a single bell sounding out celebrating the ending of slavery in one nation state, and the desire for it to end in all others! Stay safe! Kim”
  • Jane writes from New Zealand: I have been living in Nelson for nearly 6 months, but have not as yet, become involved in local bell-ringing, partly because the ringing in Nelson is done differently to what I’ve been used to, but also because of all that is involved in settling in to a new home, especially when the move was from Somerset. However, I did relay your message to ringers at Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin. My friend in Dunedin sent it on to contacts in Auckland and Hamilton as well. I’ll forward the message I got from one of the Christchurch ringers, for your interest, and will let you know if I get to learn of any noon ringing (25th March) over here. A friend in Carhampton said they would be ringing the bells for that occasion.
  • Shirley writes from Canada: Just got in from the garage where I rang my bike bell for Bells Unbound at noon my time. I kind of like the way that bells will ring throughout the day, whenever noon strikes across the world. Just wanted you to know that you have my support. Love, Shirley.
  • Brenda writes from France: Well, I’m not sure if I succeeded or not. Apparently the bells are always rung throughout France at midday on Sundays. I spoke to the mayor and he told me nothing could be done (but apparently he always says nothing can be done bless him – he’s not very popular) but I then spoke to someone who runs the little local shop and she suggested I contact the pharmacist’s wife whose husband eventually gave me a church contact. (This is how village life works in France.) So I wrote off and hope that the slaves will have been remembered in prayers in the churches around Thiviers. It was pointed out that it was an English anniversary and the French are very keen on doing things their way. Who knows, they might set up a whole event of their own? I love it here! With loving kindness, Brenda.
  • Glenn writes from The Bell Inn, Tillington, Herefordshire: We do have the local church bell ringers coming in on a regular basis so I’ll pass this on. Cheers, Glenn.
  • Malcolm writes: Keep up the good work! Pleased to see that you are reminding us of the continuing shadow of ‘modern’ slavery which still abounds in africa, asia, the middle east and the indian subcontinent, and by extension into Britain, Europe and North America, through through direct slavery, ‘white slavery’, bonded labour and the like. You have my total support!
  • Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott wrote to Bristol West MP Stephen Williams: “I was very interested to hear of the proposal that chuch bells should be rung at midday on Sunday 25 March to commemorate the time that Royal Assent was given to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807. I have written to the Chief Executives of both Liverpool and Hull City Councils to draw their attention to the proposal, and point out it would be a particularly appropriate act of rememberance if this were to happen in those port cities. I would ask you to pass on my appreciation to June Burrough for her excellent suggestion, which i’m sure will make a very appropriate contribution to those commemorations. It was through the efforts of men and women across the UK that the slave trade was eventually brought to an end, and it is wonderful to hear of people today playing such an active part in the commemorations this year.”
  • David from Bristol: Thank you for your note about bell ringing in Portland Square this Sunday. Originally I was hoping to be there, but have discovered I am in Westbury-on-Trym that morning and cannot get down in time. However, I am encouraging them to join the peal at 12 noon as well, so I am with you in spirit. In the afternoon I shall be at the cathedral for the special service on the Abolition of the Slave Trade. But still it goes on in other forms!!!
  • Dear June, Zimbabwe does not have many churches with bells, but I can confirm that most of them were rung at noon. Because of your initiative many other churches wove the Abolition of the Slave Trade into their church services. With many thanks, Ruth Hutchinson.

The Preparations…

  • Rod & Marian : Here at the Bluebell Inn at Hempstead near Saffron Walden in Essex we are having a music session all weekend starting on Friday night. We shall be ringing all sorts of bells at 12 noon on Sunday to support you. Good luck & best wishes. Rod & Marian.
  • The coming weekend will be a memorable one, I believe, and your contribution will be significant in making it so.”
  • St Paul’s Cathedral, London. “I have consulted about what we should do, and although we are totally supportive of your campaign, we are not able, for a range of reasons, to participate ourselves. The coming weekend will be a memorable one, I believe, and your contribution will be significant in making it so.”
  • “I will certainly pass it on to Tbilisi city hall, and to contacts in the Tbilisi State university and the church there. I also suggest you send info. to the Georgian Ambassador in London, Gela Charkviani. at 4 Russell Gardens, London, W14 8EZ. I also suggest you send the information directly to the Mayor of Tbilisi, Giorgi Ugulava through Nino Beglarishvili who the BTA arranged to come to work in Bristol City Council and learn all about our twinning, for one month in March 2007. The Lord Mayor of Bristol is making a visit to the twinned city in April and thus this information you sent is very appropriate.”
  • “I shall do my best to have the bell ringers of Washington’s National Cathedral, Washington D.C. dedicate their ringing at Noon this coming Sunday on this truly momentous anniversary”
  • “Thank you for your message. I will gladly spread the word in the Diocese of Lexington Kentucky“
    Bishop of Hull, East Yorkshire: “Many thanks. Lots happening here about it all”
  • Dioces of Bath and Wells: ” At the request of the Bishop, I have e-mailed the clergy in Bath and Wells so this diocese should be a noisy place on 25 March!!!”
  • Harare, Zimbabwe: “We are planning to join your Bells Unbound Programme by ringing the bells in Harare Anglican Cathedral at 12 midday (10 am in UK) next Sunday March 25th. Also we need to know that those who are making a noise in the street are to shout. eg FREEDOM from SLAVERY, or just Freedom. I think that most people here would bang a saucepan lid.”
  • “I will be in Ireland on a 5-day course – I will however be taking a small bowl which I will strike at midday and make the group aware of the date.”
  • “Thought you may be interested to hear that your message has indeed spread around the world! I live in New Zealand, and have bell-ringing contacts over here. They now have a copy of the request to ring bells at noon, on 25th March.”
  • Slave Britain – A Photography Exhibition by Panos Pictures
    As Britain prepares to commemorate 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade, a new Panos exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral reveals how human trafficking is a bitter reality for thousands of women, men and children in the UK today.
  • Slave Britain artfully documents the ordinary lives and everyday locations caught up in trafficking and calls for an end to this illegal 21st century trade.
    The show is produced by Panos Pictures in partnership with Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Eaves and UNICEF UK.
    The exhibition runs from 21 February to 29 March 2007.
    It is open from 8.30am – 4pm and although the exhibition itself is free there is an entry charge of £9.50 to the Cathedral – concessions £8.50.
  • Set All Free : Group Show Art Exhibition 24th March to 24th April 2007 at the Grant Bradley Gallery, Bedminster, Bristol.
  • In Nailsea, North Somerset, Holy Trinity Church are doing a quarter peal on Tuesday 27th March as part of an event about Abolition and Slavery.
  • Sierra Leone is joining in:
    Madam, I am Salis Bangs, Program Coordinator Same boat Project Sierra Leone Branch. As Member of the Same Boat project we would like to notify your organization that our organization will be delighted to take part in this event. We include all affilite organizations to surely participate in this highly interesting event.
    Yours in development, Salis Bangs – Same Boat Project Sierra Leone
  • “I’ve circulated your Robin round the staff in the School, and one has just told me that she’ll be ringing her bike bell. So will I at home on Dartmoor.”
  • Canterbury Cathedral bells will be rung from 2-3pm on March 25th.
  • “I am so pleased to hear that you have joined forces for this to happen. For years now a friend has wanted the bells to ring as at the time the bells only rang when it was not passed in the government to abolish slaves. But it never rang when the abolition happened.”
  • “I do have a little silver bell, which I ring during my prayers, so I will ring it on Sunday the 25th at Noon and think of all those little girls and boys locked up in the cages of Bombay, and all those carpet workers chained to their looms and gosh the list is endless. Nice Idea, I am also sending it to a friend, who is an Anglican Minister of a Church in Buffalo, now he will have a bell, and I have a feeling he will ring it.”
  • “I shall be on a National Express coach, but will find someway to mark this moving occasion. Best Wishes, Charlotte”
  • Bristol Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe and St Stephen’s churches in Bristol,UK will peal their bells at noon.
  • The Pierian Centre is arranging a gathering of people at 11.45am ready for a peal of morris dancers, bicycles, and bells of all descriptions at noon in Portland Square, Bristol, UK.
  • In America, a lone Morris Dancer has promised to “Shake a leg at noon March 25, bells on.” from the American Travelling Morrice group.
  • Local churches throughout the UK are already committed to the event.
  • Westminster Abbey are holding an evening commemoration service at 6.30pm. Then on Tuesday March 27th when the Queen attends a service they will be pealing their bells in London, UK.
  • And we are waiting to hear from the Vatican, the Dalai Lama, the United Nations, Unicef, Set All Free, Make Poverty History, Members of Parliament and hundreds of other groups, organisations and individuals in Australia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Norway, Columbia and around the world.
  • What an inspiring newsletter! I am off on holiday on March 25th, but will ring a bell at midday local time. Elizabeth.


At Noon on Sunday 25th March 2007 there is a world-wide ringing commemoration of the exact moment the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act became law in 1807. Bells Unbound is your Call to Action for a world-wide ring of Freedom!!

The Pierian Centre is a unique centre for learning. Housed in a graceful Georgian building in a Grade 1 listed square in St. Pauls, Bristol, it was established to provide the best possible environment for people to make practical and sustainable changes in all aspects of their lives. It also offers excellent conference facilities and meeting rooms in the heart of Bristol.

Anti-Slavery International – “This is our Fight for Freedom 1807-2007 campaign website, running throughout the bicentenary. Join the fight for freedom 1807 – 2007: sign the declaration at and help make slavery a thing of the past once and for all.

Bells Unbound is part of Bristol City Council’s Abolition 200 programme for 2007

Clifton Diocese:

Philip Booth Green Party Councillor

This is what was happening in the USA – 56 years after the 1807 Act.

Sunday 25th March is also Freedom Day with Stopthetraffik

Sunday 25th March is also Amazing Grace Sunday
The Ringing World is the official journal of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
Mature Times are writing up the event for their readers this week.
Join the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on a Walk of Witness on March 24th.
There are many forms of slavery today and Lord Wilberforce (descendant of William Wilberforce) who heads up the anti-slavery league says that world-wide slavery conditions are inflicted upon vastly more people than before the Slave Trade was formally abolished. We here in St Nicks have certainly experienced the reality of that.
Holt, Norfolk: I am pleased to be able to confirm that the bells will ring out at St Andrews in Holt at noon on the 25th March.
Bristol City Council – Visit Bristol has been created to increase awareness of Peace in all aspects of our lives and in particular to raise awareness of the U.N. International Day of Peace on 21st September.
Bristol Slave Trade Memorial website.
A Redemptive Ritual Retracing of The Atlantic Slave Triangle.
Bristol Cathedral

American Travelling Morrice
Morris Dancing is an old English country tradition. Its origins are lost in the mists of forgotten time, but pictorial and written references date back to the 15th Century.

Westminster Abbey
Events around the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral bells will be rung from 2 – 3pm. on March 25th.
The Cathedral is both a holy place and part of a World Heritage Site. It is the home of a community made up of many different types of people all of whom seek to make the Cathedral a place of welcome, beauty and holiness.
Set All Free – Group Show Art Exhibition 24th March – 24th April 2007

Set All Free is an exhibition of work by 11 contemporary artists presenting individual responses to this anniversary. Although slavery was finally abolished in the Americas in 1888, it is estimated that there are tens of millions of people still in forms of servitude today. Set All Free aims to remember the past and apply its lessons to explore the legacies of Transatlantic Slavery and its modern day equivalents as well as touching on notions of identity and human worth. The exhibition will include a range of work including photography, painting, installation, sculpture, poetry, music and sound.

After all, what makes any event important, unless by its observation we become better and wiser, and learn ‘to do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly before God’?
– Olaudah Equiano (ex-slave and abolitionist)

As part of his Holy Ground project artist Paul Hobbs will be exhibiting shoes collected from persecuted people all around the world. Their owners’ stories are shown alongside the shoes and include a black Zimbabwean woman writing about colonial oppression; a Pakistani man tells of being enslaved by drugs and an Indian woman speaks of being tricked into and trapped in the sex trade for 15 years.

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