Church bell blight left me frazzled, claims Cavendish villager

Rev Stuart Mitchell
Rev Stuart Mitchell

A village’s church bells resulted in a major ding-dong between a Cavendish resident and a priest.

Edwin Williams claimed he was “reduced to a frazzle” after church bells rang for three hours at St Mary’s Church to commemorate a fallen soldier from the First World War.

In a letter sent to neighbours, Mr Williams called the extended bell ringing “selfish and inconsiderate”.

“It was certainly prejudicial to my health, because, after one hour of it, I was reduced to a frazzle,” it said.

“Living near the church, I do not expect freedom from bells ringing. However, when a three-hour session blights my comfort and amenity, I intend to complain loudly and in the strongest possible terms.”

Mr Williams has relatives who died during the war, but pointed out that it would be unlikely that he would be allowed to commemorate them in the same way.

“I personally lost eight uncles during the Second World War, and doubt very much that I would be allowed a three-hour bell ringing session to celebrate their sacrifice,” he said.

“In my opinion, this is just an excuse for additional bell ringing practice and amounts to selfish and inconsiderate conduct.”

Following the incident, Mr Williams sought assurances from the church that the extended bell ringing would not be repeated.

Parish priest the Rev Stuart Mitchell confirmed the ringing had been in memory of a First World War soldier.

Cavendish Parish Council clerk Chris Turner, who lives behind the church, said he had not received any complaints and did not have an issue with the noise.

“I can’t say I took any notice of it,” he said. “A lot of people who received the letter just laughed it off.

“It’s like people living near a main road complaining about noise from the cars.”

Villagers took to Facebook to share their views.

One resident defended the bell ringing, saying: “It’s part of village life. If you don’t like it, nobody is forcing you to stay.”

Another villager expressed appreciation for the church volunteers.

“Hopefully, someone will pass on to the bell ringers that the majority of us in the village love living under the sound of the church bells.”

Since the dispute, Mr Williams and Mr Mitchell have exchanged apologies and resolved the issue.

Mr Williams added that he did not want to upset his fellow Christians in the parish and welcomed the sound of church bells on a Friday.