Save the Chimes

No more church bells after neighbour's noise complaint

Thu 23 Nov 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

A single complaint has put an end to the clock of a Kent church chiming at night.

For the last 238 years, bells at St Peter's Church in Sandwich have rung every 15 minutes between 11pm and 7am.

However, this summer a neighbour complained that the noise was disrupting their sleep.

Although a survey by a local action group called Save the Chimes found that only 15 per cent of people in the town were indifferent to or didn't like the bells, Dover District Council served the church a night-time noise abatement order.

Almost 3,500 people have signed a petition to keep the bells ringing.

In a statement, Save the Chimes called the bells the "beating heart of Sandwich".

It added: "The feeling by the vast majority of Sandwich residents is that this is the "thin end of the wedge" and if the ban is allowed to go through unchallenged, it will begin the erosion of centuries old traditions in our beautiful medieval town."

Since the church has been made redundant, The Churches Conservation Trust looks after it.

According to the BBC, the organisation has 90 days to make the changes to silence the chimes.

A spokeswoman told the BBC: "We do not have the funds or resources to facilitate an appeal.

"We have told the local campaigning group if we receive a clear mandate from the community that they will fundraise to cover the costs, we will take it forward."

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