Two men were engaged in a debate last week as to whether a church could be accused of breaching the Noise Abatement Act.
One of the men began the discussion by pointing out that the church was doing God’s work and could not be accused of wrongdoing or breaking the law.
“You are talking foolishness, because I have seen several church members involved in wrongdoing,” the other man remarked.
“All I want to know is whether the churches should obey the law. I live near to a church and when the people begin shouting and making loud noise over the microphone, I cannot hear when someone rings my phone, much less to hear what the person is saying to me.
“I have nothing against churches because I go to church too, but I don’t see why some church people should have the right to disrupt my life with loud noise,” he added.
The other man, in disagreement, said he was of the view that church services were different from dances.
He explained to his friend that the church was doing God’s work whereas people keeping dances were only doing so for worldly pleasure.
“As I have said before, neither loud music at a church or loud music at a dance, should disturb people who want to have peace and quiet at their homes,” his friend responded. The friend further said church leaders and their members should know that God would not want them to disturb people in their homes, some of whom are sick and elderly people.
breaking the law
“If they want to witness to people, then they should visit them at their homes and speak to them or witness to them on the streets and invite them to church. The microphones should only be adjusted for the people inside the church to hear what is taking place, but it cannot be that it should be turned up so high that the whole community is affected by the noise. It is my view that the church should not break the law,” he emphasized.
“I did not look at it that way, I just thought the churches, by way of turning up their public-address systems, were trying to attract people to attend church. But the way you explain it seems reasonable to me that loud noises do affect people, whether it comes from churches or dances,” the other friend admitted.
Section 3 of the Noise Abatement Act states, “no person shall, on any private premises or in any public place at anytime of day or night (a) sing, or sound or play upon any musical or noisy instrument; or (b) operate, or permit or cause to be operated any loud speaker, microphone or any other device for the amplification of sound, in such a manner that the sound is audible beyond 100 metres from the source of such sound and is reasonably capable of causing annoyance to persons in the vicinity.”