Church bells in Dorset will sound out at 6.45pm tonight in a show of solidarity with fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

Notre Dame, a treasured symbol of France and the French people, was ravaged by a huge fire on Monday which destroyed much of its roof and saw the spire collapse. The fire started about 6.45pm.

Bells will be rung at various places on Maundy Thursday including at All Saints Church in Wyke Regis, Weymouth.

Churchwarden Gary Hepburn said: “Church bells are a Christian tradition which are rung in a church for a variety of ceremonial purposes, and can be heard outside the building. Traditionally they were used to call worshippers to the church for a communal service, and to announce times of daily prayer, to let everyone know somebody has been married and in other times of great joy and sadness."

He added: "There have been bells in All Saints Church dating back to its consecration in 1455, when the four bells that hung within the tower were blessed by Bishop Beauchamp. In 1522 the bells were confiscated by the crown. In 1614 the first bell was replaced, by a treble made by Warre of Salisbury, this was added to by a 3rd in 1617 and a 2nd in 1723. In 1802 the great bell (3rd) was taken down to be cast into a smaller one as it was in need of repair and it was decided that the repair would be too expensive. In 1891 the bells were recast into the present ring of eight bells by John Taylor of Loughborough. The bells were completely renovated and rehung in 1946.”