Vicar appeals for his own church bells to be switched off at night - because he can't sleep

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Reverend David Parry says the bells of his church in Conwy, North Wales are keeping him awake at night (Wales News Service)

A local vicar has appealed for the bells of his own church to be silenced because they are keeping him awake at night.

The Reverend David Parry is calling for public support to silence the bells after dark at St Mary’s Church in Conwy, North Wales.

Mr Parry is appealing to the Conwy council to switch the bells of the 19th century clock tower from midnight until 6.15am.

The Reverend claims the bells, which chime every 15 minutes, are preventing him from gaining a full nights sleep – as well as annoying neighbours, businesses and tourists.

The vicar also claims the bells are annoying neighbours – and warding off tourism in the area (Wales News Service)

In response to his complaints, the council hand-delivered a questionnaire to the nearest 400 neighbours of the parish, asking for their views on the Mr Parry’s appeal.

Reverend Parry said of the dilemma: ‘I think it’s reasonable to ask them to be switched off at night.

‘If it was me in charge of the clock, I would have switched the chimes off overnight, as they aren’t necessary and do cause a disturbance to my family as we live very close by.

‘I’m also concerned as Conwy relies so much on tourism that if tourists can’t sleep at night, they will not come back to the town.

Read more from Yahoo News UK:
Stunned walker finds 60-year-old plastic bottle washed on up beach
Grandmother, 104, ‘arrested’ by police to fulfill ‘greatest wish’ after a life without crime
Mouse proud! Helpful rodent filmed tidying up pensioner’s garden shed for weeks

The clock was originally installed in the historic town so that seafarers would have an accurate source of time to aid them in their navigation.

‘The point is the town is now very busy with stag and hen parties, and once awake it’s difficult to get back to sleep-the clock doesn’t help.’

St Mary’s Church dates back to the 12th century, with the 19th century clock tower gifted to the town by Lord Penrhyn in 1857.

—Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK—

The questionnaire asked locals if the chimes were “annoying and unnecessary” or were a part of the town’s character and contributed to local business and tourism.

Reverend Parry said he was ‘pleased’ the town council had decided to canvass public opinion on silencing the bells until dawn.

But the petition has caused alarm bells to ring for some neighbours, who want to keep the tradition of the ringing bells in the historic town.

Audrey Barker said: ‘The questionnaire is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever see.

‘I don’t know anyone in the neighbourhood, living within the town walls or anyone that I know of is in favour of silencing the chimes during night-time hours.

The clock tower was installed in the 19th century by Lord Pehnryn – but Reverend Parry says its bells are a hindrance to the local economy (Wales News Service)

‘Also, I’m not sure what happens with Big Ben but I’m pretty sure that they chime throughout the night.’

Conwy Town Councillor Natasha Flint confirmed 200 questionnaires have been returned – and said she believed more than 95 per cent of people are in favour of the chimes as they are.

Ms Flint said: ‘We’ve had around six or seven people against the chimes, but the vast majority are in favour.

‘We’ve also had a few very rude responses saying we’ve wasted tax payers money.

‘I’d like to tell them it’s cost us around £10 to do as we hand-delivered the letters and used photocopies.’