Out of time church bells keeping residents awake until 1am

St Peter's church in Sudbury Picture: GREGG BROWN

The bells at St Peter's church in Sudbury are chiming out of time keeping some residents awake until 1am - Credit: Gregg Brown

"Frustrating" church bells that are ringing out of time and as late as 1am have been keeping residents of Sudbury awake.

For many, the sound of church bells is a sign of happy times, but for those living in Market Hill in the centre of Sudbury, it is quite the opposite.

The bells are only meant to chime between 7am and 11pm, but instead those at St Peter's Church have been ringing from 9am to 1am. 

The reason for the bells chiming out of time is unknown, but factors may include the clocks going forward and the year on year wear and tear. 

Residents who live near the church have described the noise as "ear piercing", but understand it is not a quick and easy fix. 

St Peter's Church in Sudbury has been given nearly £1.7m by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Picture: PAUL

The bells at St Peter's church in Sudbury are out of time - Credit: Archant


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Ele Brebner, who lives in Market Hill, near St Peter's Church, said she struggles to sleep because of the bells. 

Miss Brebner said: "The church bells are lovely and I admire them for what they are but they can be quite frustrating. 

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"It appears that when the clocks went forward the bells changed and they have now become two hours out of time, and as far as I am aware the clock is correct but the bells are wrong."

Miss Brebner said that the church bells are now ringing between 9am and 1am, and said the problem is not that they wake her up, but she struggles to sleep as they ring every 15 minutes. 

"It is not a complaint as such but if you do not live in the town centre, you do not notice the bells as much as you do if you live in Market Hill," she said. 

Mayor of Sudbury, Jack Owen, said the council has made it a priority to fix the noisy problem, but explained it will not be sorted until the issue is addressed in a committee meeting later this month.

Sudbury mayor Jack Owen praised the community in Sudbury for assisting police Picture: SARAH LUCY BR

Sudbury Town Mayor Jack Owen has said the council are working to fix the issue at St Peter's - Credit: Archant

Mr Owen said: "The town council has spent a considerable amount of money over the years to try to keep the clocks functioning correctly, unfortunately the mechanism is over 50 years old and has considerable slack in it which affects the time being in tune with the chimes.

"The council has budgeted funding to cover the cost of repair which will be discussed at our Environment & Leisure committee later on this month.

"The clock will be repaired once the committee has sanctioned it, which should be a formality."

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