August 2, 2009

Church bells toned down, neighbors rejoice

Neighbors of a Phoenix church say they're enjoying the relative quiet now that a judge has stopped the church from frequently ringing its computerized bells.

The bells at the Cathedral of Christ the King -- a conservative Christian church with a congregation of about 150 -- were rung every half hour beginning at 6 a.m., with songs four times a day, seven days a week. Neighbors complained.

Church officials proposed cutting the schedule to once an hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with just one song per day. Neighbors countered that the bells should ring on Sunday only, but the church kept ringing the bells and residents took their case to court.

A judge ruled in May the church had to tone down its bells, The Arizona Republic reported Sunday.

It's hard to explain how nice it is to be able to enjoy your home again, Sam Jensen told the newspaper, saying he no longer needs to listen to artificial-rain sounds he used to play just to find peace.

Al Brooks said he has gone back to reading his newspaper on his back porch, at times taking a nap when he is finished.