Greetham, St Mary
The pretty Grade I listed church of St Mary dates from the C12th to C15th. The tower and chancel are C13th while the north arcade was added in C14th at the same time as the chancel arch and clerestory. The pulpit is Jacobean.
The sanctuary has some fine C17th wooden carved panelling showing Biblical scenes. One panel shows Adam and Eve driven from the Garden of Eden by an angel, while the serpent looks on. Other panels depict the dove returning to Noah, the heads of saints, the Golden Calf, and Daniel in the lion’s den.
The church was restored by JA Cossins in 1897.
Bat surveys carried out by an expert bat ecologist in 2021 revealed that St Mary's is home to a small maternity colony of Natterer's bats which roost in the south aisle roof. A small number of common pipistrelles roost in the chancel and elsewhere. The bats are accessing and exiting via a gap above the main door.
The church community finds the droppings and urine staining very distressing, adding to the cleaning burden, and limiting their ability to use the church for community events and activities.
The ecologist suggested a possible solution of a bat loft above the main door in the south porch to provide an alternative roosting area. The church has not been able to progress this proposal due to lack of funds.
Members of the Bats in Churches project team helped out with a post lockdown clean in September 2020 and the project provided funding for cleaning equipment.