Jump directly to the content

Do Bats Really Pose More Danger to Churches than the Reformation Did?

One British MP says an environmental directive puts medieval art and architecture at risk.

British churches are under siege—or so says Tony Baldry, who represents the Church of England in Parliament.

Image: mira66 / Flickr

According to Baldry in a debate at Westminster Hall last week, churches that "survived the ravages of the Reformation" now are under attack by bats, which are ruining sculptures and artifacts with their urine and feces. Yet, as a result of the European Commission's Habitats Directive, which prohibits the wilfull destruction of bat habitats and breeding sites, churches are powerless to stop these pesky intruders.

Baldry warned that churches are in danger of being overrun by bat roosts—and some churches even face closure over the excessive maintenance costs.

"Importantly, churches are places of worship; they are not field barns," he stated. "I fully appreciate that one of the challenges for bats is that some of their natural habitat is threatened, but there has to be a balance."

British environment minister Richard Benyon responded to Baldry's concerns by saying the Habitats Directive was not intended to "render places of worship unusable to congregations or to impose unreasonable financial burdens to those congregations."

Benyon also told Parliament that the Government currently is testing new technologies that could deter bats from nesting in church belfries. He also suggested that churches contact the National Bat Helpline to obtain advice on how to control the damage.

Posted:July 3, 2013 at 9:43AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
So Long New York: American Bible Society Heads to Philly
A year after putting its iconic building on the market, ABS exits the Big Apple after nearly two centuries.
YWAM Missionaries Won’t Be Deported over Visa Issue
With 300 missionaries at risk during sponsorship suspension, organization learned “hard lessons” about record-keeping.
Robert P. George to Saudi Arabia: Whip Me Instead of Raif Badawi
Offering to take 100 lashes each, 7 of 9 USCIRF commissioners 'would rather share in' blogger's punishment than 'watch him being cruelly tortured.'
No Worship Services in Public Schools, New York Mayor Tells Supreme Court
Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.
Christianity Today
Do Bats Really Pose More Danger to Churches than the Reformation ...