VIDEO: Christmas morning bells will ring at church in Baldock

A CHURCH has made a dramatic U-turn on when it will ring its bells on Christmas morning, after overwhelming numbers voiced their disgust.

St Mary the Virgin Church in Baldock had changed the times of the traditional ringing of eight bells for the 8am service on Christmas Day after a member of the public made a complaint to North Herts District Council saying the bells were too loud and rang too frequently.

The complaint took issue with the clock bells chiming every 15 minutes from 7am to 10.45pm each day, resulting in a decision by Rev Andrew Holford and churchwardens to ring a single bell at 8am on Christmas morning for about 45 seconds instead of the traditional 20-minute toll.

But since the article in the Comet, people began airing their opinions on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

In response a tweet from North Herts District Council said: “To clarify this issue, the council is not requiring any action regarding the bells.

“We received a complaint which we are legally obliged to look into. We have encouraged church and community to reach a solution rather than take any formal action.

“Also we did not initiate any discussion about bells at Christmas.”

Most Read

Rev Holford said: “I and the churchwardens of St Mary’s Baldock are surprised but pleased at the tweet from North Herts District Council.

“We’re also delighted about the level of support from the people of the town and the obvious affection felt about the church and the bells.

“This is evident from the 1,750 people who, within 48 hours, joined a Facebook page supporting the bells.

“As a result we have decided we can no longer assent to the agreement reached 10 days ago, as we feel it does not give the right balance between the views of the people of the town and those who feel their lives are adversely affected by the bells.

“Therefore the agreement will no longer stand and we are pursuing an outcome which reflects balance and compassion.”

Rev Holford said the bells will ring for the early service at 8am on Christmas Day and the clock will strike daily between 8am and 9.45pm as they have for centuries.

To have your say on the Baldock bells vote in our poll at the bottom of the home page.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter