Swiss church to ring its bells less after complaints from annoyed residents

Swiss church to ring its bells less after complaints from annoyed residents

A church in Switzerland is planning to reduce the number of times it rings its bells after complaints were made by local residents. The parish in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Canton Schaffhausen announced that it would begin a trial that would reduce the number of bell ringings from October.

Swiss town to stop ringing bells

In a statement given to Blick, the Neuhauser parish said that it had received a significant number of complaints from residents about the noise its bells were making. The paper noted that the town has increased in size dramatically over the years, as more rental housing and jobs were brought to the area near Rheinfall, which in turn brought newly arrived residents into conflict with their noisy clerical neighbours.

In a test phase starting in October, the parish will no longer ring its bells during the morning hours. The hourly striking of the bells will also be reduced, according to Schaffhauser Nachrichten.

Church bells were distracting residents, says Swiss parish

Speaking to Blick, local pastor Matthias Koch said that the main reason for the change is that newly arrived residents complained about the noise in several angry letters. He noted that many people still work from home and are distracted by the excessive ringing during the early morning and at night. However, the pastor assured locals that the decision will not mean an end to bell ringing in the town, as he argued that many residents still enjoy the sound. 

The Schaffhauser church council agreed, with president Wolfram Kötter warning, “What has been given up is often difficult to revive." He also said that the test phase was necessary, as chiming the bells is a “Swiss tradition”, so much so that some communities and councils (Gemeindes) have taken their parishes to court because they reduced or halted bell ringing.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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