Health and Safety gone mad? St Mary’s Church in Cottingham pay £500 to replace a £2 light bulb

The congregation of 14th-century St Mary’s church in Cottingham have been left struggling to read their hymn books after new health and safety measures rule scaffolding must be used every time a light bulb in the church is changed. 

    LIGHT AND BRIGHT:  St Mary's Church in Hallgate, Cottingham, which has to have scaffolding put up to  replace lightbulbs.

St Mary’s Rector Father Paul Smith said: “Because of health and safety rules now, people can’t take up a very long ladder to change the light when the tubes go. We don’t want to get the scaffolding until it’s absolutely necessary because we don’t want to be doing it every single time. The thing is, you can have new bulbs put in one week and then two or three more will go the next week and you are plunged into semi-darkness”

At present around a quarter of the 500-watt internal roof lights have gone out leaving many parts of the church in the dark and because the church is a grade one listed building not even candle light can be used as a temporary reprieve.

Unsurprisingly the church is seeking alternative lighting measures and after toying with the idea of low level lighting it seems that they are going to go for an LED lighting system. The longer lamp life LED offers over incandescent and halogens means that the bulbs won’t need to be changed as frequently; saving the church both time and money and ensuring all can read their hymn books!

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