Thornham is a large medieval church on the North Norfolk coast, with a new Victorian chancel and east window.
The church is full of amazing carving and woodwork, especially the pew ends which include ships, animals and a mermaid holding a mirror.
The rood screen between the nave and the chancel shows saints and apostles and was painted in 1488.
Thornham church is usually open for visitors, and popular with tourists on the north Norfolk coast. The church has a small second hand bookshop.
Thornham church has a roost of around 200 Common and Soprano Pipistrelles. As well causing a lot of work for the church wardens, the bats may be causing damage to the rood screen and the flooring.
After full surveys in 2019, Phil Parker installed a bespoke bat box over the main access through the clerestory window, rafter boxes in the south aisle and external boxes on the chancel.
Through summer 2022 and 2023 the number of bats using the church decreased significantly and the church have been able to stop using plastic covers. Once bats have moved into the new roost spaces they will then be excluded from the church and will no longer be able to fly inside.
The church are planning to use the project funded cameras to show live footage from the bat box on a screen inside the church.
The church has held a number of very successful bat walks over the past few years, organised by the Norfolk Bats In Churches Project.
It has also hosted cleaning workshop and provided a venue for training new bat surveyors and was the subject of an article in The Guardian in autumn 2023.