Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
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From Spring 2010 Issue

The Most Pushing ‘Charity’ Imaginable

While Chaplain over the Aberdeen Infirmary, as well as other hospitals of the city, one also had the oversight of a delightful church called St Clements. What is more, I was not averse to writing letters to the morning and evening newspapers; and such letters mostly related to the animal cause. Well, one day I forwarded a letter of complaint concerning Cancer Research; the reason being their request that carols be sung so that the financial proceeds would go to them!

Well, knowing the appalling abuse of animals related to their research, but also aware that my bishop’s previous wife had died of cancer, I wrote my letter with as much tact and Christian charity as I could possibly muster. Unfortunately, however, this did not stop an intensely enraged fellow from calling around to St Clements House and pouring forth his wrath. What I had written in the press must certainly have touched a sore spot, and to say that this well financed employee of the said foundation was livid, is indeed an understatement, and he was by no means willing to reason things out over an offer of tea and eatables.

Around three years on, and Doreen and I had moved from the Granite City to a delightful parish on the Moray Firth. However, hardly had I had chance to settle in as Rector than did a funeral occur within one of our churches that necessitated taking a firm stand. No charge was made for funerals by the church or myself, even though the funds within that church were far from healthy. A factor Doreen knew, only too well, as she was the Treasurer appointed by the bishop, and had to make the books balance!

Well, this particular funeral was exceptionally well attended; the Service went well, but then no sooner had I pronounced the benediction than did two forceful ladies come forward - walking the full length of the isle and right up in to the sanctuary, where the altar stood - and from the latter they took up the two well endowed church collection plates. “What are you doing with these?” I asked. “Oh the contents are ours! It was mentioned in the paper that it’s for Cancer Research” they replied. They sought to convince me that such was the local practice around the other neighbouring churches, and assumed it was their right. Well, I may have a long fuse, but I can assure you that they got more than a bit of my mind! It would be the first and the last time for them to get away with such downright cheek now that I was installed as Rector.

Later, representatives of this most affluent of charities – notorious for furthering vivisection and with most prestigious buildings and highly remunerated staff – still turned up at both of my churches. Predecessors had, unfortunately, allowed this! But now the collections that were taken up during the services went for the work of God; and the most that Cancer Research made was through standing outside and rattling their boxes while the mourners left the respective house of God. Such was their early persistence, but in the eyes of the average parishioner, ‘they lost far more than they’d hoped to gain!’

It is my contention that – in the long run – no lasting good can come out of mean and cruel deeds. It didn’t benefit those Nazi medical scientists who chose to experiment on ‘conveniently assumed’ lesser and inferior breeds; and similarly it will not be found to have benefited us! Indeed, if only the time and money spent on intensely cruel research had been spent on God honouring humane research, then what a far better world we would surely all be living in today!

I would only add that since retiring to North Wales fifteen years ago the animal based cancer research consortium did suggest one late November that soon would be the time for churches to carefully consider singing carols. Yes, for the financial benefit of Cancer Research! This was in the early days of my retirement. Well, I published a pamphlet on the theme – a revised edition of an earlier publication. It received prominent publicity in the Weekly Chronicle; and since then – touchwood! - I have not been aware of any similar efforts by them in subsequent years.

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