Swiss church bells can once again chime through night, court rules

Thu 14 Dec 2017
By Eno Adeogun

The bells of a Swiss church will be heard throughout the night once again after a federal court overturned a legal decision to limit them to hourly peals.

The 250-year-old Protestant Reformed Church in Waedenswil, near Zurich, agreed to stop ringing its bells every 15 minutes after a local couple complained about the chimes.

The unnamed couple who lived closed to the church in Switzerland had sought a halt to the hourly and quarter-hourly clangs between 10 pm and 7 am.

They also wanted the early morning ringing to be delayed from 6am to 7am, which the church voluntarily agreed to.

However, many locals were seemingly unphased by the chimes as more than 2,000 residents campaigned against the decision and took the dispute to the federal court.

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The court, in Lausanne, overturned the earlier 2015 ruling on Wednesday, stating that reducing the amount of night-time chimes would have a limited effect on the quality of life.

It also said the nightly bell chimes were a part of Wädenswil's culture and local tradition.

Responding to the court's decision, Peter Meier, a member of the church's council told the BBC: "We are delighted with this decision, not just for us, but for the town and the whole community.

"The bells are an important part of the town's feeling of home, and have long given a rhythm to people's lives here."

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