Bodicote’s bells berated by bemoaners

Will St John The Baptist Church's bells be silenced?  ENGNNL00120121104143831
Will St John The Baptist Church's bells be silenced? ENGNNL00120121104143831

In an extraordinary story that surfaced on social media unidentified residents of Bodicote have complained about the church’s bell ringing, the centuries old soundtrack to village life.

Reverend Sarah Sharp said in a statement: “In response to complaints, which if escalated could actually result in us being forced to drastically curtail bellringing or indeed stop altogether.

“The church, in conjunction with the bellringers themselves, has taken the advice of the Diocesan bell ringing expert and is investigating some sound control improvements for the tower to reduce sound levels, allowing the potential for the bells to be rung more frequently for practice and by visiting ringers without causing nuisance.

“Ringing for services and special events, like the recent ringing for Remembrance Sunday, would remain the same as now.

“We have no intention of, or interest in, silencing the bells as they are very much a part of village and church life, but we need to take steps, so in the event of further complaints, we can show that reasonable measures have been taken.

“Any changes would require a public 28-day notice, inviting comment. Nothing has been decided and, until any such proposals are made, there is no further comment.”

Reaction to the statement posted on the church’s Facebook page ranged from incredulity to anger with comments such as ‘Is this fake news?’ to ‘What is wrong with people? Why by a house near a church.’

It is unclear how many complaints have been lodged and by whom.