The Church Council of All Saints’ Marlow is aware of the petition, and the debate on social media, about the decision made to silence the clock chimes between the hours of 10pm and 7am. We understand that this is an emotive issue for our community on both sides of the debate. We have sought to listen to both.
We are trying as a church to love our neighbours – as Jesus taught us to. We decided to silence the clock chimes at night because we want to be good neighbours to those whose sleep is being disturbed.
We want to make clear that this decision is not about silencing the church bells. We are glad that they are able to ring again now Covid restrictions impacting bell ringing have been lifted. The bells are not impacted by this decision. They will continue to ring as they always have done.
The Church Council’s decision relates to the impact of the church’s overnight clock chimes. They currently ring on every quarter hour and chime on each hour throughout the night all year round.
This decision was made following a survey of local residents. The responses provided showed a fairly even split between those that find the noise of the clock chimes disturbing (so support the silencing of the chimes at night) and those that want to maintain the status quo (so want the chimes to continue at night).
A number of Marlow and other organisations,including Buckinghamshire Council’s Noise Pollution Control Team, were also consulted about this with mixed views being given.
Having carefully considered all of the responses, the Church Council decided to move ahead with the silencing of the clock chimes in the ‘silent hours’ of the night. It is envisaged that the clock chimes will be silent after the 2200hrs chime and will restart at 0700hrs.
We understand that this decision is not going to please everyone – it is impossible to do that, but we are trying to be good neighbours.