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Newark Parish Church to ring Pancake Bell on Shrove Tuesday in keeping with medieval tradition

A historic bell-ringing tradition is to be honoured tomorrow to mark Shrove Tuesday.

Newark Parish Church’s bell will be rung at 11am, as it has been done for many years.

Historically, in a tradition dating back to medieval times, the bell was rung to call people to confession before the start of Lent.

Newark Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene.
Newark Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene.

The annual ringing was reinstated in Newark in the 1950’s, with a new reason — to remind people to make their pancake batter — which earnt it the name ‘Pancake Bell’.

The second lightest of the church’s ten bells is the one traditionally rung for the occasion.

It is set to be rung by Adrian Sunman for 15 minutes, until 11.15am.

Shrove Tuesday marks the end of pre-Lent, which begins the following day on Ash Wednesday, and is traditionally a time for Christians to make a sacrifice, often a food indulgence, for 40 days, to mark the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

The tradition of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday dates back many centuries and is designed to use up butter, eggs and fat or lard before the beginning of Lent.

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