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John Black/Bat Conservation Trust
UK News

Tamed bats could become a 'tool for mission'

by Eno Adeogun

Ahead of the Church's General Synod in York, one of the questions put forward to bishops is about the mammals' effects on belfries.

According to the Bats and Churches Partnerships project, at least 60 per cent of pre-16th Century churches are estimated to contain bat roosts and at least eight species are known to use churches.

 

Bat populations have historically been in decline because of the reductions in woodlands and changes in farming practices.

However, bats - which are protected by law - can cause churches issues such as dealing with bat droppings and therefore raise hygiene concerns.

Rex

Sir Tony Baldry, chair of the Church Buildings Council said there is a hidden advantage to bats making homes in churches with holes in their walls and doors.

"Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave," The Daily Telegraph has reported he said.

He added: "We have to encourage them out of the belfry to roost in bat boxes in churchyards."

He explained children could then visit the churches to study the bats and perhaps become Christians in the process.

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