Complaint stops 200-year ringing of church bells, but residents react

Beith Parish Church in Scotland has church bells partially silenced

A noise complaint has silenced a church bell that clanged every hour for more than 200 years in Scotland's Beith parish.

The 24-hour ringing at Beith Parish Church in Ayrshire was stopped after a resident told council environmental health their sleep had been disturbed, the BBC reported.

It is a decision that was taken by the church following a complaint by a local resident earlier this year regarding the noise made by the clock chiming.

So, the Church of Scotland has now stopped the bell between 11 p.m. and 07 a.m.

However, the change has left residents furious and a petition was launched to bring the chimes back into use every hour of the day, the Adross Herald newspaper reported.

This appeal has gathered more than 900 signatures since it was launched on November 13 as residents rally round to bring back the "cherished tradition."


A petition to restore the 24-hour chime has garnered more than 900 signatures. Organisers say the tradition is part of the Beith's "history and heritage".

North Ayrshire Council asked the Church of Scotland to consider silencing the bell overnight.

The petition explains how much the chimes means to many of the town's residents.

It states: "The chiming of our parish church clock has always been a part of the character and charm that makes our town unique.

"Recently, due to complaints from a newcomer, this cherished tradition has been limited with the cessation from 11pm till 7am.

"This change has not only disrupted our sense of community but also altered an integral part of our town's identity."

The residents said that the chiming clock is more than a mere timekeeper; it serves as an audible connection to their history and heritage and has been chiming for 200 years.

The petition says that many townsfolk have shared stories about how they've relied on these chimes throughout their lives.

These include knowing when it was time to head home as children playing in the streets, to relying on them during power outages.


"We understand that everyone's comfort is important. However, we believe that one person's discomfort should not outweigh a tradition loved by many and ingrained in our community for generations," says the petition.

According to Sky News a Church of Scotland spokesperson said: "Embracing the bible teaching 'love thy neighbour as thyself', the Kirk Session took environmental health's suggestion on board and the clock bell has not sounded between 11pm and 7am since 11 October."

In the meantime, the bell continues to chime on the hour between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day of the week.

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