Fury Over Changes To Church Bells

15 November 2012, 06:00

More than 1700 people have signed a petition on Facebook opposing any changes to the chiming of St Mary's church bells.

At the moment the church, which has been in Baldock for centuries, chimes its bells every 15 minutes between 7am and 10:45pm

But recently someone living in the town companied to Reverend Andrew Holford about the noise.

Initially an agreement was made between the Reverend and the complainant to begin chiming later and to finish earlier but this was not well received by other people living in the town.

Reverend Andrew Holford has confirmed with Heart that at the moment no changes have yet been agreed and says he and the complainant are still trying to find a compromise:

"Its important to balance the compassion that you feel for people that feel they have been affected with the overwhelming view of the people of the town and trying to keep the tradition and the heritage and the identity, what makes Baldock what it is"

If an agreement can't be made then it will have to be decided by North Herts District Council.

The church would be able to appeal their decision but it could lead to a hearing at a Magistrates Court.

Andy Godman from North Herts District Council's Head of Housing and Public protection, said: 

St Mary's Bell Tower Baldock

''As required by law, the Council is investigating a noise complaint made by a local resident about the daily ringing  of the bells at St Mary's Church. We have encouraged an informal dialogue between the church and the community  to reach a solution, and at this stage we have not requested that any further action is taken, nor did we initiate any discussion about the bells on Christmas day."

Raymond Chapman lives in the town and set up the Facebook petition with his wife Janet.

He says the bells are an important part of the town and says he'll be very disappointed if changes have to be made after just one complaint.

Mr. Chapman went on to say that the church has been there for a lot longer than anyone living in the town and says he doesn't understand why anyone would move near a church if they don't like the sound of bells chiming.

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