Petition aims to silence 'nuisance' church bells

A DING-dong row has broken out over the ringing of church bells in Aldeburgh.A petition has been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council complaining about the peal of bells rung at St Peter and St Paul's church.

A DING-dong row has broken out over the ringing of church bells in Aldeburgh.

A petition has been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council complaining about the peal of bells rung at St Peter and St Paul's church.

Bell ringers at the church are preparing to ring out the peal - which takes three hours - as they have done for the last sixty years to herald the start of the internationally acclaimed Aldeburgh Festival at the Festival Service this Sunday.

But today the diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich said the peal was under threat.


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It said Aldeburgh is just one of 5,000 churches across the land which ring bells regularly and told of its fears after the

petition complaining that the peal of bells is a nuisance was signed.

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Suffolk Coastal District Council is said to be considering whether the ringing of church bells constitutes a statutory nuisance.

Revd Nigel Hartley, vicar of Aldeburgh, said: “The bells in our tower date back at least 500 years.

“A dedicated band of ringers practises each Monday evening and once a month, on the second Sunday, they ring an extended peal, which takes about three hours to complete.

“For expert bell-ringers it is the nearest they get to a concert performance.

“The history and heritage seems to make no difference as far as the law is concerned.”

The Aldeburgh Festival was inaugurated on 5th June 1948.

To mark the occasion the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock, will preach the sermon at a special service this weekend.

The bells will ring as the service begins, but this year they will ring at the end of the service too.

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