Church bells too noisy for Narragansett man

A Narragansett man has gone to federal court to silence church bells sounded by a neighboring Catholic church.

John Devaney says in his lawsuit that the bells of St. Thomas More Catholic Parish disrupt his life and contributed to the end of his marriage.

He is asking the court to order the church to reduce the number of bell claps and gongs so he can peacefully enjoy his property.

The 64-year-old Devaney says the church bell did not operate when he and his now ex-wife bought their house 18 years ago. About six years later the bell was upgraded to operate electronically.

Brooke McCarthy, who lives across the street from the church, says the bells are no big deal.

"It's only a couple times a day. It's not a big deal," she said. "It's fairly loud. At first, I thought it would be every hour or so, but it's not that bad."

NBC 10 obtained a letter sent to Devaney in response to a complaint he filed at the beginning of 2012.

In the letter, Narragansett Town Manager Grady Miller cites the town's noise ordinance law stating, "Devices used in conjunction with places of religious worship shall be exempt."

Through the Catholic Diocese of Providence, the church says the brief bell ringing is reasonable and well within its rights.

NBC 10 contributed to this report.