6th November, 2013
There are laws and regulations that state what levels of noise are accepted within certain times of the day. If one has a party at home, if one has a manufacturing business or an entertainment business, one has to have regard to the neighbors and try to reduce the level of noise being produced. Failure to do so could result in cancellation of licenses or even prosecution.
There are two churches in my neighborhood. The first one is no problem, but the second one is on the other end of the scale. The second church seems to have freedom of will to make noise at any time of the day. The congregation, of about twenty five members, has church services with a sound system which can be heard all around the neighborhood. There is no place inside my house where I can have some peace. Church services are held daily from about six in the evening to nine or ten in the night. On Saturdays the services go to midnight. On special occasions it has gone all the way to four the next morning.
I have spoken to the pastor but nothing has changed. I have brought it to the attention of the municipal body and nothing. Called police several times and nothing can be done since it’s “just a church service”. I have a problem with the noise level that is produced and not with the pursuit of their faith. I need some peace and quietness in my house so that I can have a normal life.
I have a full-time job in Belize City, I am also a part-time student at the University of Belize, and to top it all I am a parent. My day starts at four in the morning. I get ready and then I take a bus to Belize City. Having spent my day between work and school I take a bus back home. By the time I reach home I am exhausted, but no rest for the devil. I cannot listen to the television, do my school work, much less sleep. It’s not until the service is over that I regain focus and order.
I suggest the relevant authority do one or any combination of the following:
1. That a time be assigned for the start and end of the service
2. That the level of the sound system be proportionate to the attendees
3. That the building in which the services are held be sound proofed
4. That a revocable license be granted for them to have extended hours of service
5. That the church pay fees for failure to comply
At the end I respect the diversity and personal space and all I ask for is equality.