Bats could lead youngsters to Jesus, says former UK MP

Bats could lead youngsters to Jesus, says former UK MP July 8, 2019

MANY UK churches have a bats-in-the-belfry problem.

Some of the most common issues associated with church bats include droppings and urine, which cause a great deal of damage. Also the little buggers fly around inside churches and distract worshippers.

Image via UK Parliament CC

But Sir Tony Baldry, above, Chair of the Church Buildings Council, believes that bats – once taught to “behave” –  could help the spread of Christianity.

Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave. 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.

What do we know about this loon?

Well, before retiring as a MP representing the Church of England in the Commons, he sounded a warning in 2013 about the dangers posed by bats to churches. He said that some buildings used for centuries are now in danger of becoming unsustainable as places of worship unless action is taken.

Then in 2018, he insisted that “unconditional” financial support from the Government amounting to at least £30 million a year will have to be given if the country’s 16,000 church buildings are to be maintained.

Using Lottery funds for churches was not a sustainable method, he said, pointing out that lottery-ticket sales were “steadily falling”. The Government would soon have to decide:

How the state gives some consistent, and regular, financial support towards the repair and maintenance of listed church buildings.

He claimed that, in France and Germany, church buildings were maintained by the government, and said that the £30-million figure for government funding “should be attainable”.

We also know that Baldry is exceedingly rich.

Back in 2014 Buzzfeed reported that, while still an MP for the Banbury constituency, he was earning £1,000 an hour as a director of a firm which specialises in advising wealthy overseas investors on how to buy luxury property in London.

In that year he was  appointed Associate Director of Werner Capital, which offers property advice to “ultra high net worth” individuals.

According to the firm’s website, Werner Capital helps wealthy individuals from around the world buy expensive property in London and protect their money from “political upheaval” abroad.

We offer our private clients solutions for their tax, estate planning and structuring issues.

Former employees of Werner Capital say that the firm focuses on helping “ultra high net-worth individuals” from “Russia and the CIS”. This means Baldry’s new employer helps oligarchs from Russia and former Soviet states buy British luxury property.

The disclosure came as the government was  under pressure to find ways of discouraging wealthy overseas investors from buying up UK properties. London property prices have been driven to record highs, in part due an influx of foreign investment from Russia, China and other emerging markets.

Baldry listed a £5,000 payment for just five hours work for Werner Capital on the April, 2014, edition of the Register of MP’s interests. He has since registered a further £20,000 advance payment to cover the next four months work, suggesting an annual salary of £60,000 for the part-time role.

On top of this he receives around £120,000 a year as chairman of a linked firm, paper company Kazakhstan Kagazy plc.

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  • sweeks

    Doesn’t this guy know that bats are BIRDS? (Leviticus 11:13-19)

  • Götterdämmerung

    I nearly spat out my tea reading this when I realised it wasn’t a spoof. Enticing children into churches is a nefarious activity that child protection authorities should be monitoring.

  • Tawreos

    30 million? Wouldn’t prayer be a much more cost effective solution to all of the churches problems? It’s god’s house let him try footing the bill for a while without outside help.

  • Jennny

    Same old, same old trope to me in rural UK. Churches are down to a hardcore few, desperate to keep their beloved building open. The latest lame idea is that churches should ‘serve the community’, so they are proudly allowing secular foodbanks, lunch clubs and other groups to use their premises. That provides much-needed income of course. But the unspoken belief is that once inside the church, somehow, magically folk will be so impressed by religion, they’ll start attending on Sundays…which never happens and isn’t ever going to. The getting-children-in-to see-bats is a similar idea I’ve seen so often, like churches welcoming school children to hold their Carol Service there, or visit as part of their compulsory RE lessons and somehow the holy spirit will be at work and the magic will happen….on their deluded planet.

  • Broga

    “We also know that Baldry is exceedingly rich.”

    He hasn’t bought into the “blessed are the poor” bit. Not inheriting the kingdom of heaven doesn’t seem to bother him.

  • Broga

    Our bats are protected. Perhaps church bats are not. Yet another privilege and exemption for religion?

  • sweeks

    I’ve seen a lot of old bats in churches!

  • Matt G

    Try giving the bats some communion wine – maybe they’ll get confirmed. And yes, I realize that only a few bat species drink blood….

  • Matt G

    Poverty for thee, but not for me.

  • And how, exactly, does he plan to train those bats?

  • Broga

    The old bats in churches are now getting fewer. Perhaps they are now an endangered species.

  • Broga

    That was ever the way. The downtrodden poor were to get their reward in heaven. Baldry and his ilk preferred hard cash in the present. A bat in the hand, worth two in the belfry.

  • David McKeegan

    The Church of England is sitting on an estimated £8.3 billion – so why are they asking the government for £30 million per year to maintain their buildings?

  • al kimeea

    he seems to think the bats would prefer the outdoor bat boxes to an elaborate “cave” and might be somehow persuaded to relocate

    the boxes could attract other bats

  • Zetopan

    No problem, Jesus will have to handle that task!

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave.

    The same might be said of pastors and priests.

  • Lurker111

    He’s just batty.

    (There–I’ve used the joke no one here had the nerve to post. 🙂 )

  • Tim Howley

    I don’t know where you get the idea of Tony Baldry ‘representing’ the CofE in Parliament. The Church has no representation in the House of Commons. There are bishops in the House of Lords, 26 of them out of a total eligible membership of 800, so their voting bloc isn’t significant. This gentleman was the MP for Banbury from 1983 to 2015. He is however completely stupid with regard to bats.

  • Barry Duke

    Well, the Mirror, regarding a different issue, wrote: “Sir Tony – who represents the Church of England in the Commons … ”

    And Wiki says: On 21 June 2010, Baldry was appointed Second Church Estates Commissioner, with responsibility for answering questions in the House in a manner similar to questions to ministers on the work of the Church Commissioners.

  • Jim Jones

    Many of those who attend do so to get their kids into ‘better’ (religious-run) schools.

    Church of England could close thousands of churches

    The number of people attending the Church of England’s Sunday services fell again last year, to 722,000 – 18,000 fewer than in 2016 – continuing a trend seen over recent decades.

    However, attendance at Christmas services in 2017 was the highest in a decade, at 2.68 million, suggesting that services are increasingly seen as an element of festivities rather than regular religious worship. The figure was a marginal increase on last year’s 2.6 million.

  • rubaxter

    Because they can?

    When you got a professional procurer like Baldry working for you, why not?

  • Tusk

    I think most these Loons, have bats in their belfries… always thinking of ways to lure children into their clutches. Wicked Lot.

  • Tusk

    “Prayer?” “Footing the bill”…. I think “god” has left the building. I mean when “followers” start calling an inept “president’ a savior… the desperation is clear. Whether people claim faith, human beings need proof. They start controlling their invisible god, by their own “standards.” And obviously quick to reappoint someone “real” to the position. Desperate, white and privileged … there’s the rub.

  • Philip Buczko

    The point I made recently regarding Notre Dame, £8.3 billion is pocket change to the Catholic church.