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St Andrew's Church Bells

Report of Meeting held 21 June

Concerns raised by local residents over the sound of bells from St Andrew's Church, Chesterton, resulted in the vicar, Reverend Nick Moir, calling a meeting to hear the views of residents in person and to report on various items of correspondence.

His report will now go to the Parochial Church Council on 5 July for consideration. The report can be viewed here.

Michael Bond, Chairman of Chesterton Community Association and Secretary of Old Chesterton Residents Association (OCRA), attended the meeting. He says: "Nick's report is a very full and fair account of views expressed at the meeting. Whilst I have no sympathy for the extreme view that would silence the clock and the church bells permanently I recognise that we now have many more people living close to the church and that the quarter chimes through the night do cause distress to some people."

Update received 8 July

The PCC (church council) had a good discussion on Monday night and decided the following. They are minded to support the proposal for installing a mechanism for silencing the chimes at night (the quarter- hour chimes but not the hourly ‘bongs’) and will obtain a number of quotations for putting in the mechanism needed. But they also believe that this intention needs to be published and for there to be another public meeting to give further opportunity for public comment and response – recent publicity to the case has shown that this issue stirs up a lot of feeling and it will be important to ensure that everyone gets the chance to have a say and – even more importantly – to listen to where others are coming from.

There can be no ‘quick fix’ for this as any works on the clock will require a faculty (legal permission similar to the planning permission process – which also gives the right of objection).

In the meantime, as agreed at the meeting, the chimes have been turned off at night manually on one or two occasions on an experimental basis. To do this every night would (a) prejudge the process and (b) require someone to go into the church every night and physically pull the lever.

The meeting referred to above will be on Monday 20 September at 7.30pm in the Hall. The PCC will make an application for the relevant faculty following that meeting but reserves the right to reconsider having further tested public opinion.

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