From: Martin, Jennie and Tom Green, Herring Stream Road, Motueka, New Zealand.
WE were horrified to hear about the closure of Ellerburn Church near Pickering for services due to the ongoing bat issue (Yorkshire Post, August 10).
A relative of ours visited St Hilda’s Church, Ellerburn, recently and told us on the phone that as she opened the door the stench of bat urine greeted her.
As we were married here and our son Tom was also christened at the church by Bishop Galliford, it has a very special place in our hearts.
Ellerburn church has been desecrated by bats and this is deemed by the “bat lot” to be acceptable yet had the church been vandalised by a group of hooligans this would have brought public outcry and prosecution.
Several years ago, an alternative breeding place for the bats was constructed in the roof void of the Lych Gate at Ellerburn church, complete with all home comforts, eg a heater, at the church’s expense.
This was done on the recommendation of heritage experts, and as the church wardens have done all they can to provide alternative accommodation, then surely they now have the right to block all the entrances to the church used by the bats to reclaim the church for its rightful use, ie a place of public worship not a toileting/sleeping accommodation for bats. This seems to us like a case of bureaucracy gone mad.
One of the things we do miss, having emigrated to New Zealand three-and-a-half years ago, are the historic buildings in England, especially the churches.
New Zealand is a relatively new country and as such has no historic buildings of such antiquity as the likes of Ellerburn church.
It’s time Yorkshire people appreciated more what they have and what historic features they are in danger of losing.
As such, it is time they stood up for their rights to preserve these historic buildings, not only for themselves but for future generations.
Where are the likes of English Heritage who are supposed to protect all these ancient buildings? Once lost, buildings such as Ellerburn church can never be replaced.