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Death knell for a church’s bells as Sunday lie-in wins

Rung out: Rev Brown (below)
has silenced the early bells
at St Mary’s Church in

BELLS at a church have been silenced for the first time in 161 years after locals said the 8am racket disturbed their Sunday lie-in.

Rev Christopher Brown, vicar at the church in Pembrokeshire, said: ‘People in the vicinity have a bit of a rough time on Saturday nights what with the pubs tipping out.

They clearly want to catch up on lost sleep the following morning so we decided to go along with their requests as an act of good neighbourliness.’

But the move has been met with anger by some worshippers at St Mary’s Church in Fishguard.

One woman said: ‘The bell is only rung very briefly. The sounding of church bells is an ancient practice announcing divine worship. Those complaining are a bit like the people who move to the countryside and moan about cockerels crowing at dawn.’

Unrepentant Rev Brown said he sympathised with non-churchgoers over silencing the 8am Holy Communion call, which dates back to 1857.

‘It’s not a peal. It doesn’t sound that tuneful, but more like a death knell,’ he said. ‘I like to think of this as a sensible compromise. If I want people to come to our church I certainly won’t achieve that by winding them up.’