Big Ben’s chimes

Big Ben’s chimes
Photo by Thomas Kelley / Unsplash
Timothy Cross
Timothy Cross Timothy Cross has written many Christian books and articles and has an honorary doctorate from Christian Bible College, Rocky Mount, NC.
01 January, 2011 5 min read

London’s Big Ben must be one of the most iconic landmarks in the UK. When I was 8 years old, my father and I were taken up Big Ben. We climbed the tower’s 334 steps – it has no lift. With hindsight, I realise that I was very privileged; security being what it is today, the general public are prohibited from going up Big Ben.

‘Big Ben’ technically refers to the thirteen and a half ton bell housed in the St Stephen’s clock tower, on the north east end of the Palace of Westminster in London. The name though has become synonymous with the 96.3m high, four-faced tower which houses the great bell.

Interestingly, there is a plaque in the clock room of Big Ben on which is some verse, based on Psalm 37:23-24. The verse may be said in time to Big Ben’s quarter bell chimes. It reads:

All through this hour

Lord be my guide

And by Thy power

No foot shall slide.


Can we glean any spiritual lessons from Big Ben? I believe we can.

Big Ben’s thirteen and a half ton bell, when struck by a huge, mechanical hammer each hour, has an unmistakable sound. We had to cover our ears when we stood by it. On a clear night, the guards at Windsor Castle are able to hear it – and they are some 25 miles away. All this is comparable with the preaching of the gospel.

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