Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
"Christ’s redemption is for the whole of creation!"

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From Spring 2007 Issue

STOP PRESS: A Saint Has Been Promoted To Glory!

Yes, the term ‘promoted to glory’ is an old time salvation Army one. But if ever there were a saint for the animal cause, for whom such a term is worthy, then it must be Michael Sutcliffe. For here is a fellow who was a cultured gentleman, refined and courteous, yet equally militant all the way. Indeed, his passing has just been notified to us and both Doreen and I are still quite stunned. All that one can say is that the passing of a saint is glorious in the sight of God, and I know that such a scriptural quotation is fitting for Michael Sutrcliffe.

Indeed, when I first asked this wonderful fellow his name he said: ‘it’s not a very favourable one. I share my surname with the Yorkshire ripper!’ Ah yes! But then he shared his Christian name with the archangel Michael; the one who destroys the very devil himself in the metaphorical form of a dragon. Appropriately then, Michael has always been on the tail of the devil, and never more forcefully than in seeking to wipe out the whole vile business of animal cruelty. Wherever the devil has raised his ugly head Michael has been out to destroy him; and, somehow, I don’t think Michael has left us all to fight on our own. Somehow, I very much feel that Michael, Hans, Vickie, Jill – and many others – have far from left us. I really sense that these are the saints of our, animal cause and that they are – as it were – ‘looking down and spurring us on from their heavenly gallery overhead.

I can only speak for myself when I say that I am encouraged to fight the good fight on this earthly arena because now Michael is spurring me forward with: ‘You can do it James; you can do it’ (See Hebrews Chapter eleven in the New Testament). Yes friends, there are various shades of goodness. I think of those who practise virtue to avoid Hell or Purgatory to come. ‘Are you ready for eternity?’ They ask. ‘Are you born again?’ Or ‘are you a convert and have you got priestly absolution?’ It would appear as if many of them are riddled through with guilt and, therefore, petrified about what happens beyond the grave. Is it any wonder that so many try to get on the right side of a cleric? You’ve no idea how many perks a clerical collar gives one. A contrast, indeed, when you go without one! But the highest virtue I come across is amongst those who leave eternity in God’s hands – that’s if they believe in Him at all! But such folk are goodness itself without any future recompense in view. Yes, and the animal rights movement is full of them and I’m glad to be a Christian cleric amongst this altruistic salt of humanity

I feel that for us who had the honour to meet him, we can all say of Michael Sutcliffe - who was suddenly promoted to Glory at 84 years of age while encircled with correspondence ready for newspapers and government departments. Yes, when seriously afflicted with macular degeneration as well! – ‘I thank my God for every remembrance of you’:

The above photo, casually snapped by Doreen, reveals Michael and I on a protest march through Salisbury, while on our way to hold a vigil outside the heavily guarded, Ministry Of Defence’s headquarters at Porton Down. Here, in all fairness, the Special Police who were on guard proved most courteous and helpful to us

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