Close
Date TimeAugust 25, 2019
Voice
Bat poo no longer blights church and interrupts service, as worshippers rejoice over new scheme
Enticing the next generation through their ancient doors, keeping donations topped up and ensuring that the organ is tuned usually rank high among any church’s list of priorities. For one congregation in Leicester, however, their problems have been somewhat more ungodly. For years, members of All Saints Church in Braunston-in-Rutland have been plagued by faeces dropping from the ceiling where a 500-strong colony of bats now reside.  This has meant that instead of praying or enjoying the 1,000-year-old church building, parishioners have been slipping on its floors, art and furniture has been covered in sheeting and volunteer wardens have spent hours scouring pews and floors of bat excrement. Now, however, the congregation remains clean and dry. Following a pioneering new scheme, entitled the Bats in Churches project, work has been done to fill the gaps in the ceiling to prevent faeces and urine soaking through without harming the animals. It is illegal to stop bats - which are a protected species - from reaching their roost, leaving many churches unable to patch up holes in their walls and doors which bats use for access. As a result, many congregations across the country have often found themselves at the receiving end of their sporadic, plunging excrement.  Gail Rudge at All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, where bats have roosted and caused damage  Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  All Saints Church was one of the first to benefit from £3.8million of Heritage Lottery Funds to reduce the impact of bats on the buildings across the UK. It is one of around 100 churches, which hosts a large bat roost, which is now reaping the rewards of clean floors and clean congregants.  Sue Willetts, church warden, told the BBC: "Before, we had covers down on the floors to collect the droppings. "We had to clean the pews every time, it took an hour before every single service. Now we use the church how its meant to be." Mrs Willetts said that the bat problem “snowballed” five years ago when an old chimney in the village collapsed, prompting its residents to move into the church instead. She added that after signing up to the scheme, ecologists found gaps between the roof and the church and it was possible to block these gaps without harming the bats. She estimated that the church has received £100,000 worth of scaffolding, building, and ecological study works since applying for funding from the project. Rosemary Riddell, from the Bat in Churches project, said work at All Saints Church "has enabled us to sort of roll out solutions to other churches similar to Braunstone and it's really helped us to learn from their experiences". "[The church] was one of our guinea pigs and we're grateful for their engagement and involvement," she added. More than 100 churches have applied for the Bats and Churches Partnership, which monitors bats to see whether church managers could be allowed to take action to protect their historic buildings. It is funded by a multi-million-pound National Lottery grant.  All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  During the General Synod earlier this summer, The Telegraph reported that bats in the belfry were being mooted as a potential “tool for mission”.  Bishops visiting York were asked to answer more than 100 questions involving an array of controversial topics such as reporting abuse during confession, non-disclosure agreements and ethical investments in large technology companies; and one was on bats.  The Archdeacon of Lincoln, the Venerable Gavin Kirk, asked for an update on the progress of the Bats in Churches project, and “how those afflicted by bats may find out more about it?”  Sir Tony Baldry, chair of the Church Buildings Council, responded: “A number of projects involve volunteers from the community in managing and even exploiting the presence of bats, for school projects and the like. Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave politely.” Asked how bats may prove to be tools for mission, Sir Tony told the media: “We have to work out how to encourage them out of the belfry to roost in bat boxes in churchyards. “They could then be of interest for projects for schools and A-level students studying the life cycles of bats and so on. They are part of God's creation and are interesting mammals. “There are serious challenges. They poo and urinate over large parts of the church, it is very distressing for parishioners on a Sunday to have to clear a whole load of bat poo off the altar and pews and so for some churches that bats have made almost unusable.”

Seven dead in Majorca air crash as sightseeing helicopter collides with ultralight plane
Out of Order
Explainer: Why are the Amazon fires sparking a crisis for Brazil - and the world?
Correction: Red Flag Laws story
Italy Democrats Back Lower House Head Fico as Next PM: Reports
Ariana Grande makes emotional return to Manchester to headline Pride
Australia must not be rattled – Steve Smith is back for fourth Ashes Test
Tottenham are lacking unity and desire, admits Mauricio Pochettino
Rory McIlroy pockets £12m for winning Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title
Novak Djokovic aims to defend US Open and close in on Federer’s major haul
Epsom victory the aim for jump jockey Jamie Codd, aka ‘The Coddfather’
Jürgen Klopp’s creative chaos brings new meaning to the ‘Liverpool way’ | Richard Jolly
Griezmann nets double in Barcelona’s comeback win over Real Betis
Killer Kate! review – squabbling sisters unite in a bloody gorefest
Manchester United to meet Facebook over Paul Pogba racist abuse
Boris Johnson pulled interview after criticism by head of news, says Channel 4
‘Breaking Bad’ Movie Coming to Netflix in October
Swearing has its place in journalism – when used sparingly and skilfully | Paul Chadwick
British Airways Bank Holiday chaos as thousands of holidaymakers spend hours on the phone trying to salvage plans
Biden Skips DNC Event as Traditional Power Center Loses Sway
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes aim at the Electoral College
Montana is back among states without state-funded preschool
This Chase credit card offer with 125,000 bonus points is so good, I actually signed up
Ariana Grande set for emotional return to Manchester to headline Pride
Stephen Colbert takes a stab at the tanking markets and the inverted yield curve, wonders about no-tariff Bibles
Trevor Noah ponders whether Trump's immigration policies are mostly a stealth way of dumping Melania
Tim Paine insists Australia will put Headingley hurt behind them
England’s chariot running like a dream heading into the World Cup
US Open bow will test Coco Guaff’s confidence amid cautionary tales
Billy Vunipola adamant England must improve away to contend for World Cup
Plácido Domingo gets standing ovation at Salzburg
New ‘Joker’ Trailer Teased in Series of Short Instagram Videos
Lizzie McGuire Sequel Series: Hilary Duff Reveals New Plot Details — Will Lizzie and Gordo Wind Up Together?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Tarantino's last word? Discuss with spoilers
Iran's Zarif leaves G7 talks, unclear if progress made to ease tensions
Felix Sater: Trump wanted to reveal my secret CIA, FBI work during the campaign
G7 leaders vow to help Brazil fight fires, repair damage
Larry Kudlow on Trump’s ‘Second Thoughts’ Remarks: ‘He Didn’t Exactly Hear the Question’
Drone war takes flight, raising stakes in Iran, US tensions
Democratic presidential field shrinks as debate cut looms
Islamic scholar Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint
Ben Stokes says ‘he never gave up’ in batting heroics to keep Ashes alive
Joelinton secures Newcastle’s first points in surprise win at Tottenham
Barcelona v Real Betis: La Liga – live!
Adam Gemili takes aim at doubters after record-breaking 200m win
Ben Stokes’s best England innings since Botham puts all else in shade | Andy Bull
Ashes: Ben Stokes on England's sensational third Test win over Australia – video
With the Hawks in a new phase, the Tigers sense a chance to create an era of their own
Raul Jiménez rescues Wolves with late penalty to deny impressive Burnley
Ashes captains reflect on ‘phenomenal’ Ben Stokes and third Ashes Test – video
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires
Taylor Swift On Kanye MTV Video Music Awards Interrupt: “That Stuff Doesn’t Happen In Real Life”
Boris Johnson Offers Brexit Metaphor After Morning Swim In Sea At G7 Summit
Police Called To Essex Beach As People 'Struggling To Breathe'
CNN’s Brian Stelter: ‘We Can't Tiptoe’ Around Trump’s Mental Instability ‘Anymore’
Biden evokes '68, asks: What if Obama had been assassinated?
EU leaders round on Trump over trade at G7
Israel says air strike in Syria sent 'no immunity' message to Iran
Exclusive: Iran says it will not negotiate missile work, wants to export more oil
The Latest: HK police draw guns as protesters chase them
Ben Stokes inspires England to sensational third Test win over Australia
Nairo Quintana wins Vuelta second stage as Roche takes leader's jersey
Sunderland Ladies given new hope in bid to return from football’s margins
Box Office: ‘Angel Has Fallen’ Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut
‘Real Money’ Star And Rocker Eddie Money Has Esophageal Cancer
Boris Johnson Pulls Out Of Channel 4 Interview After News Chief Calls Him ‘A Coward’
Ashes 2019: England Beat Australia In Third Test After Thrilling Ben Stokes Century
Boris Johnson Admits Chances Of No-Deal Brexit Now ‘Touch And Go’
200,000 Rohingya rally to mark 'Genocide Day' in Bangladesh camps
US city council candidate says she wants to keep town 'a white community as much as possible'
Hezbollah leader calls Israeli drones in Beirut very dangerous move
US school spends $48 million on curved corridors and hiding places to foil mass shooters
S.Africa seizes Air Tanzania plane over unpaid farm claim
Eurythmics Songbook review – sweet dreams of synthpop heaven
Ashes 2019: Ben Stokes steers England to one-wicket victory over Australia
Tottenham v Newcastle: Premier League - live!
Sergio Agüero double helps Manchester City put Bournemouth to the sword
Warrington and Steve Price hope final glory can lead to grand double
Paul Pogba vows to fight against racist abuse for the ‘next generation’
US Open bow will test Coco Gauff’s confidence amid cautionary tales
Former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh announces primary challenge, says he regrets helping 'create' Trump
Two Dead Following Light Aircraft Crash In Oxfordshire
Five Dead After Helicopter And Small Plane Collide In Majorca
UK Weather: It's The Hottest Late August Bank Holiday On Record
Hariri says Israeli drones in Beirut attempt to stir Middle East tensions
Justice Department: Psychologist removed Jeffrey Epstein from suicide watch
UK PM Johnson says £39 billion divorce bill not due in no-deal Brexit
After night of clashes, Hong Kong braces for fresh rally
Pope, urging prayers, says Amazon forest vital for our Earth
End-of-season review: from McIlroy’s agony to Xiyu Lin’s shot along a bridge | Scott Murray
British Airways Told To ‘Sort Out Mess’ After Error Over Flight Cancellations
PewDiePie surpasses 100m subscriber mark on YouTube
Trump backs Johnson, sends mixed signals on China at G7
N. Korea says it will remain 'threat' to US, slams Pompeo
Bournemouth v Manchester City: Premier League – live!
Promising yet concerning: Solskjær’s Manchester United already at crossroads | Jamie Jackson
Trump Tells Johnson He Wants Post-Brexit UK-US Trade Deal ‘Within A Year’
Hammond Tells Johnson To Apologise For Attack On Ex-Ministers Over No-Deal Dossier
Muslim man left in coma after Thai army interrogation dies
Soyuz spacecraft carrying humanoid robot fails to dock with space station
‘Safe Haven’ Israel Became Hot Money Bait for Central Bank Chief
Indian girl's throat slit in spate of deadly kite accidents
Ashes 2019: England v Australia, third Test day four – live!
Scottish golf’s biggest handicap? Its elitist clubs. But change is in the air... | Kevin McKenna
‘My daughter was raised during the siege of Aleppo. I had to make a film for her’
Zahia Dehar: from teenage escort to the summer star of French cinema
The future looks bleak for the restoration of William Blake’s cottage
G7 Summit: Donald Trump Promises A 'Very Big Trade Deal' With The UK
Emma Stone Is Unrecognisable (And Deliciously Punk Rock) As Cruella De Vil In The 101 Dalmations Prequel
Expats In Europe Reveal No-Deal Brexit Fears: 'Everyone Thinks The Brits Have Gone Crazy'
Sauce and sensuality: TV drama adds extra mischief to Austen
Crowd control: street photographer Shane Taylor’s images of London
Racist abuse in the real world is in decline, so why not on Twitter? | Sunder Katwala
From the archive: Clive James has a meltdown at Madame Tussauds, 1980
The Latest: Iran imposes sanctions on US think tank
Tear gas fired as Hong Kong police, protesters clash
Will the real Mr. No-Deal step forward please?
Hong Kong protesters form human chain 30 years after 'Baltic Way'
Exclusive: Sudan needs up to $10 billion in aid to rebuild economy, new PM says
The Latest: Harris gets warm welcome at California meeting
Evoking 1968, Joe Biden asks New Hampshire voters: What if Barack Obama had been assassinated in 2008?
Costco bets on international appetite for first Chinese store
Jay Som: Anak Ko review – subtly impressive
Raphael Saadiq: Jimmy Lee review – beautiful songs of loss and addiction
Ezra Furman: Twelve Nudes review – a short, sharp, exhilarating blast
Crawl review – slight B-movie horror
Breaking Bad Movie El Camino Will Debut On Netflix In October… But Will Bryan Cranston Return As Walter White?
Drag Race's Courtney Act: 'Going On A 10-Day Silent Retreat Was Easier Than Expected'
Two Years On, Life Is Still On Hold For Rohingya Refugees
French police fire tear gas, water cannons at anti-G7 protesters
Pelosi’s Go-Slow Impeachment Strategy Is Tested in Fight Over Trump’s Bank Records
2020 Democratic presidential field begins to shrink
NJ Cop Sent to Psychiatric Ward After Wife’s Slaying Will Finally Face Judge
Journalist killed in Mexico
Illinois trooper serving warrant dies from gunshot wounds
This Woman Had Brain Surgery While Awake – Now She Has A 'Miracle Baby'
South Korea begins annual war games to defend against Japan
'Keep Marysville white': racist remark by would-be councilor shocks Michigan city
N. Korea's Kim oversaw test of 'multiple rocket launcher': KCNA
Oregon defends past nonunanimous jury verdicts to high court
Trevor Noah neatly ties together Tucker Carlson's 'surprise vacation' and Chris Cuomo's 'Fredo' fight
Stephen Colbert is amused at Trump's childish love of trucks. Seth Meyers explains how Trump is hosing truckers
‘The Simpsons’ Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain
Son of ex-NFL player accused of murdering parents arrested
Qantas to test 'ultra long-haul' Sydney to NY, London flights
Video shows San Francisco woman trying to get inside apartment building for almost 3 minutes before attack
Family of UK Hong Kong consulate worker reject 'made-up' report about arrest over prostitution
Britain sends another warship to Gulf
Israel arrests Palestinians after deadly West Bank blast
Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck retires aged 29 in all-time NFL shocker
Britain will withhold $37 billion from EU in no-deal Brexit: Mail on Sunday
Exclusive: As Amazon fires rage, Brazil tells diplomats to fix image
Global appetite for beef, soy fuels Amazon fires
Lightning strikes Tour Championship and leaves six spectators in hospital
Telegraph columnist derided for saying Olivia Colman has 'leftwing face'
Netflix killer? Why Disney Plus signals the start of Australian streaming's Hunger Games
Sure, defend Meghan Markle from racists, but let’s not bow to the monarchy | Kenan Malik
Israeli teen dies of wounds in West Bank attack, 2 wounded
Woman finds venomous spider in her ear after mistaking it for water
UK Hong Kong consulate worker Simon Cheng freed after detention in mainland China
Metal detectorist finds £10,000 gold ring in garage 40 years after discarding it as worthless
Revered as a saint by online extremists, how Christchurch shooter inspired copycat terrorists around the world
Joe Biden asks audience to imagine Barack Obama’s assassination
Pompeo says Huawei CEO is not a bargaining chip in Trump-China trade war
US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has more cancer treatment
Turkey says Syria safe-zone center with U.S. fully operational: Anadolu
Eighty people charged over online romance scam targeting women
Joe Root shakes off the sleepless nights to awaken his inner Boycott | Andy Bull
Lightning at Tour Championship leaves six golf spectators in hospital
Marnus Labuschagne proves himself a sparkling Ashes understudy | Geoff Lemon
‘Mulan’ Star Yifei Liu Not At D23 Presentation Amid Hong Kong Controversy – D23
‘Star Wars’: J.J. Abrams Says Carrie Fisher Is ‘the Heart of’ ‘Rise of Skywalker’
Game of Thrones star Kit Harington joins Marvel's The Eternals
Boris Johnson Admits Post-Brexit UK-US Trade Deal Won’t Be ‘Plain Sailing’
100ml Liquids And Laptops Ban On Airport Hand Luggage Set To End, PM Announces
Joe Biden asks audience to imagine Barack Obama's assassination
Cannibal trial: Man accused of raping, murdering and eating parts of ex-girlfriend's body granted mistrial
Joe Walsh and the other Republicans who may challenge Trump in the 2020 primaries
Trump’s Offer to Help N.Y. With Subway Baffles Governor's Office
Plan allows drilling, grazing near national monument in Utah
Hong Kong police fire tear gas as clashes return to city streets
On this day, the British set fire to Washington, D.C
Steve Smith to play for Australia against Derbyshire after returning to nets
Anthony Yarde brave but beaten in WBO title fight against Sergey Kovalev
Astana win Vuelta a España team time trial to put Miguel Ángel López in red
David Luiz shirt-pull was ‘not enough’ for a penalty, says Unai Emery
European roundup: Guardiola stuns Madrid with late Valladolid equaliser
Barack Obama just dropped his summer playlist, and 'Truth Hurts' singer Lizzo is so excited
‘The Simpsons’ Producers Talk Joining Disney, Potential Spinoff Series
Bill Maher gets candid about David Koch's death: 'I'm glad he's dead'
Brazilian Military Begins Operations To Fight Amazon Fires
The Latest: Serial killer pleads guilty to more slayings
Counting the Costs of Gavin Newsom’s Abortion Pledge
Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed in Florida
A man was training to get a gun permit. The instructor accidentally shot him, police say
Regime forces mass in northwest Syria: monitor
All bands on deck: aboard the Belle and Sebastian Med and music cruise
Joe Root digs in to give England glimmer of hope in third Ashes Test
Mohamed Salah turns on the style as lethal Liverpool see off Arsenal
Ojie Edoburun sees off Hughes but troubled by claim Coleman missed tests
Close