Poisoning pigeons in the porch?

Of the many judgments I thought I would have to make as Chancellor I never thought one would involve trying to fathom whether a pigeon would be caused more suffering from the unshakeable (but wholly wrong) belief that his roost was both on fire and exuding unpleasant odours or from the unshakeable (but wholly true) belief that if he returned to his roost he would receive a disconcerting and mild electric shock to his feet. Such, however, is the glory of the Faculty jurisdiction.

A couple of weeks ago, Bristol Live carried the headline “Judge gives Bristol church permission to electrocute pigeons, and suggested that the problem with pigeons in the North Porch had evolved since ‘Tom the Church Cat’ died in 1927. The “special and rarely called Church of England Diocese Consistory Court” (sic) cited referred to the judgment in Re St Mary the Virgin Redcliffe [2020] ECC Bri 1, the topic of this post. The issues involved brought back memories of David’s environmental work on London Underground, and of one of the options then available, immortalized in Tom Lehrer’s Poisoning Pigeons in the Park. Continue reading