Since December 1, 2021, the nocturnal ringing of church bells has ceased to be heard in Rorschach, south of Lake Constance. The city in the canton of St. Gallen is in the trial phase until May 31, 2022: Due to a petition, the bells of the Colombanskirche and the Herz-Jesu-Kirche are silent between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Since then, supporters of keeping the bells ringing at night have also started a petition. The parish board is reviewing the situation.
Barbara Camenzind, a professional musician at Rorschach, has started a petition to keep this tradition alive. Her approach opposes a request made to the parish council by 34 newcomers disturbed by the nocturnal bells of the church.
Indeed, a petition from the residents of the new district Seehof wants the bells of the parish church of SS. Kolumban and Constantius to be cut off at night and that ringing the bells before Mass also be discussed.
“We, the supporters of the bells, reply: whoever moves next to a church with a lively parish life must be able to live with the fact that the bells ring. Or don't live there. Our church has been here for over 1000 years.”
“The beautiful Baroque ringtone is an ornament of our city, and many of us suffer from sleep disturbances because the familiar ringtone of time, associated with the feeling of being at home, is missing,” retorts Barbara Camenzind on her on-line petition.
“I want the situation to be discussed and a good federal compromise to be found.” The striking of the hours, like that of religious services, is linked “to a fundamental feeling of belonging to the Rorschach community,” explains Barbara Camenzind to the agency kath.ch.
A total of 219 signatures were collected in favor of the night bells. Many of the signatories do not understand why the parish subscribed so easily to the request of the new inhabitants and temporarily suspended the striking of the hours at night.
“It’s like when someone moves to the countryside and, disturbed by the crowing of a rooster or the ringing of cowbells, demand their suppression.”