A MAN has gone to court claiming that that the ringing of bells at a church opposite his home helped to ruin his marriage.
John Devaney said that the bells of St Thomas More Catholic Parish & St Veronica Chapel in Narragansett, Rhode Island, has wrecked his life, the Providence Journal reported.
Devaney, 64, wants the court to order the church to reduce the number of bell claps and gongs.
At the moment, the bells ring every Monday through Saturday at 8:45am, at noon and 6pm; at 4:45pm on Saturdays and 7:45am on Sundays. It is also rung for weddings and funerals.
Devaney claims in his court papers that the bell “clapped” and “gonged” at least 700 times a week – more than 36,000 times a year. This led to emotional distress, bad moods and arguments with his now ex-wife.
When he and his then wife bought the house 18 years ago, the church bell was not in operation.
About six years later a new church administrator upgraded the bell to operate electronically and it has rang ever since.
The Catholic Diocese of Providence said that the church’s “brief bell ringing” is reasonable and within its rights.
“So many in the community have enjoyed hearing the bell for more than 10 years for but minutes a day. The parish believes the brief ringing of the bell is reasonable and well within its rights,” the church said in a statement to the Journal. “The parish community is saddened that a sole individual would continue personal, inappropriate attacks harassing visitors, worshippers and staff of St Thomas More Parish. As a community of faith, we will pray for peace and understanding and that all our neighbours know of our charity and concern.”