Glen Innes church bells a comfort for people stuck in quarantine

Church bells are traditionally rung to warn of big threats like invasion, the start or end of a war or the onset of a siege.

One local deacon is turning to the old technology as a herald of a new threat: the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Church Minister David Robinson has run the bells of Glen Innes Holy Trinity Anglican Church three times last week.


It's a call to action, but also a way for the church to comfort people stuck in quarantine.

"There's no such thing as social distancing with Jesus," he said.

"For us as Christans we believe that we love God and we love our neighbor. We're encouraging people to reach out to God in their difficulty and then also to love their community by washing hands, staying away from gatherings, all that kind of stuff."

The church has developed the '9 at 9', a list of actions to be done in quarantine everyday, including cleaning, doing half and hour of exercise and checking in on a neighbor.

The church minister said ringing the bell is about impressing the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic threat.

"Normally we use the bell as a bit of a call to worship, we ring it before our services

"But historically I guess there has been that (tradition) of ringing it in times of important moments like a war, a coronation, that types of things.

"I'm not concerned in the sense that I actually believe God's got this in control.

"But concerned in the sense that this does seem fairly serious. When I talk to medical friends who see the real data they think it's more serious than what a lot of people seem to think at the moment.

"I don't know what it's going to take for people to take it seriously, maybe it is going to be when we lose someone here or when we've got a proper case in town or something."

The idea is spreading, with the Moree Anglican Church also making a decision to ring their bill at the same time every day.

Two residents living near Emmaville have been diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus, while at least one person in Tenterfield Shire has COVID-19.

There's also three confirmed cases in Inverell Shire and one in Armidale.