Swaffham vicar rejects call to ring Brexit church bells
The vicar of Swaffham has disagreed with a local town councillor over a proposal for church bells to ring out to celebrate Brexit on January 31. Eldred Willey reports.
The Rev Janet Allen, vicar of St Peter and St Paul church in Swaffham, said that it would be ‘deeply inappropriate’ to sound a peal, given that Brexit has been such a divisive issue and that the Church stands for reconciliation.
She was rejecting a call to chime church bells across the country from Swaffham town councillor Lindsay Beech, who suggested that 11pm on January 31 would be a good time to start seeing in the UK’s departure from the European Union.
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Norwich said: "The Diocese has no policy on the ringing of church bells for Brexit. It is at the discretion of local clergy, churchwardens and the PCC at each individual church.
"We would encourage consideration of the wider feelings of the local community,” continued the spokesperson, “recognising the variety of views. Our Christian response is always one of hope and reconciliation."
Rev Allan has already come to a clear position on the subject: "It is simply not a matter for church bells to be involved with,” she told the EDP. “Our job as a church is to bring people together, so no - we will not be ringing our bells. People in my parish voted different ways so it will be nice now to get back together and get on with things once Brexit is done with."”
Story extracts from the EDP – see their story here.
Pictured top is St Peter and St Paul Church (courtesy of www.norfolkchurches.co.uk) and, above Rev Janet Allen (courtesy of the church).