Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

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general 1 min read

Almost a year and a half ago, I wrote a post on my old blog about how annoying church bells are. Since then, I’ve periodically received emails from people who feel similarly about this particular brand of noise-pollution.

Just this week, I received another such email, and decided to impart some advice of a slightly more practical nature.

First, the initial email:


my name is Mark and im from Croatia. I recently moved to the capital - Zagreb. I live by a stupid church that has really loud bells, and I have to listen it at 6 AM!! Its a TORTURE. Than at 10 AM, 12 AM and many times more. I dont know what to do about it. I would like to put a law suit or something.

Please help me. I dont know what to do. I really hate this church, I mean why shoul it ring anyway? Ppl already know when theres time to go on a mass, right? So this is useless, just wakes up everyone here. I read your article, thats why i write to you. You think like I do.


I felt Marko’s pain. Moved by his plight, I decided that instead of my usual spiel about investigating noise pollution laws and asking the church nicely to reduce the volume or duration of the bell-ringing, I’d instead make a slightly more controversial suggestion:

Hi Marko,

Why don't you just set fire to the church?


To which he just today replied:


I wrote a letter to the inspection, just have to send it now. I found a law that says church can ring the bell from 7 AM to 7 PM, so I will use that. There is no need for a fire.

But I'd love to see it burn, really. I would also have better view if there was no church here. Stupid church shouldnt ring at all.


If you’re reading this and you’re responsible for ringing the bells in a Zagreb church at 6 am every morning, I’d advise you to be rethinking your schedule right about now. I have got to stop getting myself into situations like this.