Friday, 18 September 2009

Sounds Good!

Row over noisy church neighbours

Hope United Church

Residents living near a church in North Lanarkshire have complained to the local council about the congregation worshipping too loudly.

The Hope United Church in Motherwell, located in a warehouse in a small industrial estate, is attended by about 100 people, many of them teenagers.

Neighbours claimed the noise made by its Christian rock band, and worshippers singing, was unacceptable. The pastor admitted services were noisy but said the church had improved lives. The church was set
up in January and works with many disadvantaged young people from across Lanarkshire.

As well as a Sunday service it runs youth groups and a football programme.
The services are noisy but they last just an hour and a half each week, and only 30 minutes of that is the music
Mark Ralston
But some residents living in the residential area opposite the industrial estate have criticised the noise levels coming from the church.

One local, who did not want to be named, said: "It is pretty noisy on a Sunday. You can hear loud music and there is always a lot of people coming and going.

"I have not been particularly bothered but I know other people in the street are unhappy."
Pastor Mark Ralston told the BBC Scotland news website: "I would rather focus on the positive work the church is doing.

"The services are noisy but they last just an hour and a half each week, and only 30 minutes of that is the music."

Noise complaints

He added: "I have heard one of the residents complained about people queuing outside waiting for the church to open on a Sunday, but I think that it a wonderful thing.
"I love the fact kids are queuing up outside a church, rather than queuing up outside an off-licence, or waiting on drugs.

"We are 21st Century church focused on helping turn people's lives around."
North Lanarkshire Council confirmed it had received complaints from residents.
Charles Penman, pollution control manager who investigates noise complaints for the local authority, said: "We are working with the church and with local residents to find a solution that will work for everyone."


Lay Clerk said...

Here's a solution - treat them in exactly the same way anyone else would be treated, and if the noise level is judged to be unacceptable then force them to stop making it, whether that means removing their sound amplification and even ultimately closing them down if they still don't comply.

Who cares if it's a church or not, it should make no difference.

When I was growing up in that very town we were regularly plagued by local God-Botherers holding a loud open air service in our communal backyard despite having a perfectly good hall of their own 100 yards away to which I'd have gone if I'd wanted to hear them. Which I didn't.


frdougal said...

Here's a Penman solution which Charles the Noisy Neighbour Man might like: You in the Church, turn the freakin' volume down!! You in the hooses: get double glazing!

Simples, as the Russian Meerkat says!

SueM said...

You know it sounds just like my local church, enthusiasm, crowds turning up, queing round the block... I wish:)