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Silencing the chimes at All Saints Marlow

The All Saints’ Church Council has surveyed our near-neighbours to ascertain the impact of the church’s overnight clock chimes, which currently ring on every quarterhour and chime on each hour throughout the night all year round.

The responses provided have shown 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).

The respondents that support the silencing of the clock chimes at night have explained the distressing impact that the noise of the chimes is having on their lives and sleep patterns.

In addition, a number of those indicating support for maintaining the status quo expressed empathy for other near-neighbours, acknowledging the potential impact that the chimes might be having.

A number of Marlow organisations have been consulted about the impact of the clock chimes and the possibility of them being silenced overnight, with mixed views being given.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Noise Pollution Control Team has been consulted and has stated that the chimes would likely not be considered a statutory nuisance; however, the team also recognised that there will be a wide range of impacts and perceptions at an individual household level.

Having carefully considered all of the available information, the Church Council has decided to move ahead with the silencing of the clock chimes in the ‘silent hours’ of the night to reduce the detrimental disruption for our near-neighbours. To avoid any ambiguity, it is envisaged that the clock chimes will be silent after the 2200hrs chime and will restart at 0700hrs. The cost of the work to enable this change will be met by some generous private donations.

This decision will have no impact on the ringing of the church bells for services, weddings, practices, and other occasions, which will be resumed in the near future as COVID-19 restrictions are easing.

All Saints Marlow