St Peter’s Church, Sandwich: Save the Chimes goes nationwide

For centuries, the church has been at the heart of towns and cities across the UK and the clock chimes are the beating heart of those churches. The churches and their clocks are quintessentially British and form one of the most charming characteristics of this nation’s history, such as those at St Peter’s Church in Sandwich.

Now they are under threat

The clock chimes of St. Peter’s Church in Sandwich were silenced at night as a result of one complaint and this is happening all over the country. In almost every location wherever there has been one, or a few complaints, there has been a massive outcry against those complainants and many hundreds of people have signed petitions supporting the chimes. You may recall the Sandwich petition to keep the chimes and articles appearing in various national newspapers.

In the most recent case in Witheridge, North Devon, the clock chimes were silenced at night after a couple who had recently moved in to the village, and one other person lodged a complaint. The Council spent £2000 of residents’ money to adjust the mechanism and the bells have been silenced at night for the first time in 150 years. More than 300 people signed a petition asking for the noise abatement order to be reconsidered but that can’t happen.

In Wrington, Somerset the chimes were stopped because of a complaint from one couple. These chimes had to be silenced both day and night because the clock software could not be adjusted. After a backlash from the local community the couple withdrew their complaint. Too late. The decision can only be changed if an appeal is made in the courts which is expensive and there is no guarantee of success.

Sadly, the law is unable to stop this and the Government, thus far, has been unwilling to act.



A Government petition has been launched to exempt church clock chimes from the noise abatement act. If you want to support this go online and visit:


Please sign and pass the message to everyone you know, and ask them to do the same.

With your help we can stop these ridiculous attacks on our heritage.


Thank you,

June Summerhayes

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