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The ChurchCare eBulletin comes out three times a year and features news, events, guidance, advice and updates. To receive the eBulletin visit our home page and sign up via the newsletter sign-up tool in the bottom right-hand corner.


 

The CBC has been working with several dioceses and a number of national partners including Historic England, the University of York and Atlantic Geomatics to develop the software and survey methodology to create digital plans of our churchyards and cemeteries (and everything within them, including buildings) which is compatible with the Church Heritage Record and Online Faculty System. This would allow parishes to better manage their churchyards and if they wish their buildings, with a live online record which they can use and update. The offer has a cost depending on several factors, but we are working on reducing this to a minimum, or nothing for the initial survey; obviously critical mass is the key in this regard. Having an accurate plan is also useful for attracting visitors and interest in the memorials and ecology of a churchyard.

If you are interested in this project, tentatively called the Burial Grounds of England Survey, then please put in your diaries the following dates, when we will be holding free launch events. These will be held at London Waterloo St John, 13th June, and York St Michael-le-Belfry, 23rd June, both from 10-16.00, sandwich lunch and refreshments provided. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to register or know more.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced major changes to the way in which churches apply for funding, including the closure of the Grants for Places of Worship scheme later this year.

ChurchCare has produced a briefing document to guide dioceses and parishes as to our position on these changes and suggested next steps. We will update this as matters progress.

Existing applications should not be affected. Anyone concerned should contat their local HLF representative.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has approved the first stage and initial funding for the 5 year “Bats in Churches” partnership project, bringing together wildlife and heritage conservation and church organisations to save bats and protect churches.

The partnership includes Natural England, Church of England, Bat Conservation Trust, Historic England and the Churches Conservation Trust.

The £3.8 million ground-breaking project will:

  • trial and perfect new techniques to enable bats and church congregations to live together
  • build up professional expertise and volunteer skill to share the best solutions with hundreds more churches
  • bring together church communities and bat enthusiasts to create a shared understanding and appreciation of England’s historic places of worship and our rare flying mammals

Whilst small bat populations can occupy parts of a church without disturbance, in other cases bats can pose severe financial and social problems for congregations. At a time when churches are increasingly becoming community hubs with a diversity of events and uses, bat droppings can restrict activities, damage historic artefacts, cause hygiene issues and put strain on the volunteers who look after these beautiful buildings. In rare cases large bat roosts have even caused churches to close.

 

The UK has internationally important populations of bats, which are at risk, because of decreases in woodland where some species hunt for insects, conversion of barns, loss of natural roosting sites and changes in farming practices. Due to significant historical declines in bat populations in the UK, all bats have been protected under British law since 1981. Bats often use churches for maternity roosts and hibernation.

 

To read the full press release click here.

 

 

 

 


 

 

The 2017 awards organised jointly by The Church Times and Shrinking the Footprint, the CofE’s national environmental campaign, are designed to celebrate the many projects already underway and to encourage new ones.  For more details and to enter the Church Times Green Church awards click here.