Every night at 7 p.m. the bells in the steeple of the heritage Milner Chapel in Langley will ring out in support of first responders.
Nancy and Ken Napier, who live just across the road from the 134-year-old church, started ringing the bells on Monday, April 6th.
They said they were inspired by the reports of people stepping out at 7 p.m. in Langley and other communities to make some noise in a show of support for frontline medical staff and first responders.
“It was Nancy’s idea,” Ken told the Langley Advance Times.
“We’re in farm country out here and we never hear a bell,” Nancy related.
“I thought, heck, we’ve got a bell here.”
It was a welcome idea as far as the volunteers who look after the chapel at 6716 216 St. were concerned.
They loaned the Napiers a key, so they could get in to the chapel and make the bells chime.
“We thought it would be a nice thing to honour the people on the front lines [of the COVID-19 pandemic],” Ken said.
Nancy added they also have a lot of time on their hands at the moment, because their iconic antique store, Napier’s Country Antiques, had to be shut down last month due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak (both say they are determined the store will reopen once an all-clear is given).
Milner Chapel has also been closed to visitors.
While they wait for the crisis to end, every night at 7 p.m.. the Napiers plan to walk across the road to ring the church bells.
On Thursday, April 9th, Ken said they were planning to ring the bells an extra-long time to also commemorate Vimy Ridge Day, the annual observance to remember the Canadians who fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France during the First World War.
READ ALSO: Chapel bells will soon ring in Milner
Milner Chapel, built in 1886, used to have a locomotive bell that was rung each day at 12 noon as a signal that it was lunch time.
It was taken down about 70 years ago.
In 2011, two specially-cast church bells made by Milner residents and brothers Julien and Andre Dussault were installed
The bells, which weigh about 90 pounds (41 kg) each, are made of bronze, silicon and tin and are also counter weighted so that they will ring properly, and the clappers in each bell are different to provide distinct tones.