Report by Tom Wright , Reporter
Monday, May 7, 2012
THE fight to keep a century-old tradition of clock chimes at a village church has received hundreds of supporters from as far away as America, Australia and New Zealand.
All Saints Church in Wrington was served with a noise abatement order by North Somerset Council last week, demanding the chimes be silenced between 11pm-7am after a complaint from new residents who had moved to the village.
But churchwarden John Ledburys claim that the village is in uproar appears to have underestimated the strength of feeling, with dozens of messages of support posted online and more than 650 people joining a Facebook campaign to Save Wringtons Bells.And a song to the tune of Jerusalem has also been composed by one villager indicating a willingness to challenge the council.
The strength of public support may help a growing fight within the village to get the decision reversed and petitions are set to be put in local shops.
Representatives from the church, parish council and residents have met to discuss the possibility of legal action.
Philip Whitehouse, who used to live in Broad Street before moving to Australia, said he failed to understand how anyone could complain about a church bell chiming.
He said: What I cant get my head around is that somebody is objecting to the bell. To quote John McEnroe: You cannot be serious.
Many posts on social networking site Facebook were against the councils decision.
Several people called on the couple believed to be Jonathan Apps and his partner Christina Hallett to embrace the chimes as part of idyllic village life.
The councils order meant the bells were silenced completely initially as there was no mechanism to stop the chimes ringing for certain parts of the day.
But this week equipment has been installed to ensure it can chime at designated times.
* We have been asked to make clear that the complainants say others had complained directly to the church before they did, and that they themselves raised the matter with the church before the council issued the abatement order. We are happy to clarify this point.