Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Hillsborough bells to keep ringing during the day


THE Select Vestry of Hillsborough Parish Church has reassured the congregation its bells and clock chimes will continue to sound out over the area between 7.00am and 10.00pm.

In a statement to parishioners published in the current edition of parish magazine 'Outlook' Secretary Cathryn Law said all select vestry members were unanimous in the fact they were 'tremendously proud' of the church bells and dedicated bell ringers.

However, she also said the Select Vestry had been 'sorely vexed' by the issue and the decision to silence both the bells and chimes at night had been taken 'in the best interests of the church'.

The original complaint about the bells was made in December and according to Cathryn the past six months involved "much thought and prayers.

"We as the elected persons within the church to serve as Select Vestry feel we have made the Christian decision which is the right decision," she continued.

In the statement Cathryn said the Select Vestry acknowledged many people still had concerns as to why the decision to silence the bells and chimes at night had been taken.

She explained it had been made plain by the council's Environmental Health Department the level of noise was sufficient to require action on the part of the Church.

She said it had also been made clear that if nothing was done within a relatively short space of time the Council would have no alternative but to serve an enforcement notice requiring the church to take action.

She also said regardless of whether the bells and chimes were within acceptable noise levels or exceeding them the church still had a neighbour who couldn't sleep at night: "We had to take their wellbeing into account," she added.

Ulster Star