Church Commissioners’ answer: bats in churches

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On 10th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about bats and church buildings:
Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Commissioners have had with Church of England representatives on encouraging clergy to install bat boxes to provide alternative accommodation for these mammals.

Dame Caroline Spelman: Bat roosting remains a significant and costly issue for around 100 churches, where large roosts mean constant cleaning, damage to significant artefacts and delays to repair work, all of which reduce the use of the building by the congregation and community. Our experience is that bat boxes are not always the best solution, since there is no guarantee that the bats will use them.

The Church of England has recently secured Heritage Lottery funding as part of a partnership led by Natural England for a project to mitigate the impact of bats in churches. This work will include looking at ways that bats can be moved to more suitable locations when the roost has an adverse effect on the congregation. More details of the project can be found at: http://www.batsandchurches.org.uk/