by NEIL GREENLES
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
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
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.