N.Y. town at odds over church bells

Dec. 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

PITTSFORD, N.Y., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Residents of Pittsford, N.Y., appear split regarding the decision to quiet a local church's bells during late night hours, church officials say.

Officials at Pittsford's Christ Episcopal Church said some church members questioned the end to the more than century-old tradition of ringing church bells every hour, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The Rev. Winifred Collins, the church's pastor, said the decision to quiet the church's bells after 11 p.m. each night was to honor local residents' right to a peaceful night's sleep.

"We are trying to be considerate neighbors based on our Christian values of hospitality and compassion," Collins said. "As a church, we are called to be respectful to people's needs."

Pittsford village board member Trip Pierson said church officials should have obtained feedback from residents on the matter before making their final decision.

"The church bells are a fabric of this community that has been here for more than 150 years without a problem," Pierson told the Democrat and Chronicle. "If you don't like the background noise coming from the trains, it's not like you can keep them from coming."

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