Wintringham, St Peter
This exceptional Grade I listed medieval church, dedicated to St Peter, is cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust. The Norman chancel is the earliest part of the church and the rest of the building has remained essentially unchanged since the C15th.
The beautiful interior, with its white-washed walls and faded Jacobean oak pews, is light and airy. The furnishings include a Norman limestone tub font with painted timber cover dated 1736, and C15th traceried screens at the east ends of both aisles with a charming “squint” in the north aisle screen. The misericords and choir stalls in the chancel look medieval but are actually Victorian. If you visit, see if you can spot a dragon and other mythical creatures among the carvings.
Painted on the wall below the bell tower is a humorous poem dating from 1723, outlining the fines for bell ringers who misbehave. Other features include C18th wall paintings and a C19th wagon coffin.
Bats use the church all year round, as a breeding roost in the summer and for hibernation in the winter. There are at least three species present—Natterer’s, brown long-eared and pipistrelles. Droppings are scattered throughout the main body of the church, and the Jacobean woodwork and other important heritage features are extensively urine stained.
The Bats in Churches Project worked with The CCT and local bat groups to find ways of engaging more people with the church and its bats. The church took part in a roost count for the National Bat Monitoring Programme in June 2022 and a cleaning workshop in October 2022. The roost count acted as the catalyst for the Friends of St Peter's Church and the church has now gone from only a couple of volunteers to more than 30. You can read the story of the village brought together by bats here.
In October 2022 children from a local primary school took part in our Introduction to Bats in Churches schools' programme.
In February 2023 St Peter's hosted On A Wing And A Prayer art installation and held a very successful bat-themed community day with belfry tours, children's games and activities, bat colouring competition, refreshments and a bat talk with an expert volunteer from East Yorkshire Bat Group.
On A Wing And A Prayer returned to St Peter's in September 2023 where it is on permanent display.