News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Backlash after UK village silences its historic 150-year-old church bells after one complaint

by Premier Journalist
St John the Baptist.png - Banner image
St John the Baptist Witheridge

A church clock that chimed throughout a village for 150 years was made silent on Sunday evening, following a single complaint that it was too loud.

St John the Baptist church’s clock tower was barred from ringing in December 2023 following the complaint.

It sprung local residents in Witheridge, Devon, into action as they set up a petition to save it. The complainant, who was not named, argued the chimes, which rang every 15  minutes, 24 hours a day, had been disturbing their sleep.

A noise abatement notice was handed down from North Devon Council to the local parish council on 22nd December last year. It was informed it could be prosecuted for a breach.

According to The Telegraph, one signatory, Becka Cook, said: “I believe one person’s grievance should not change or affect the joy of many.

“For hundreds of years the bells have chimed, and it’s criminal to silence them now!”

Lynne Bull argued: “We should keep the clock chiming. It’s a part of the church and a traditional part of village life.” In response to the complaint and subsequent order, the parish council was forced to put in a £2,000 silencer, meaning the clock will only chime between 7 am and 11 pm, and only once an hour.

The church’s vicar, Rev Adrian Wells, told the BBC: “I think the work of the parish council to fit a silencer is a good compromise because the bell can ring during the daytime and be silent at night.

“It is lovely to have the chimes and bells back during the day. The clock is a real focal point for the village.”

North Devon council claimed its “environmental protection team” had assessed the amount of noise the clock tower was producing and deemed it too loud.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email