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

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From Summer 2010 Issue

Episode 6
The Flock That Christendom Forgot
Or an animal padre’s uphill pilgrimage

Yes, my ministry within Firbeck cum Letwell was truly turbulent; just as it was much further afield: indeed, within the very centre of Sheffield itself! The fact is that when blue movies began to hit the headlines of the central city’s cinemas I not only thought of far off days as a cinema protectionist in a far less salubrious cinema, but of the known devastating effects that sexual violence and sadism could have on impressionable young children. It was also a time when local rape cases appeared to have soared. So I decided to do something about defending the vulnerable.

One busy Saturday I made a one-day stand - please note: not a one-night stand! - in Sheffield centre; and this had terrific repercussions. A temporary bishop (the dear Diocesan had become gravely ill!) was about to 'drag me over the coals' for such an outburst. However, following such helpful support for my stand, which followed from the city's leading civic dignitaries, he remarked in a letter to me that he had changed his mind. ‘I feel now that I should really have supported you myself’ he wrote. Yes, he typified most bishops. They sit on the fence and only come down on the side the majority approve of!

However, the story of my Sheffield protest is by way of diversion. There was only one experience left to tell me that I had stomached more than enough of rural affluence in my 'stuck up' social-climbing first parish. The occasion was when the then new Lord Scarborough decided to send me a brace of wizened pheasants via his gamekeeper. ‘These are from his lordship', he affirmed! A few weeks before I had visited his lordship in his spacious, drab and somewhat deteriorating mansion when I had touched upon God's greater creation, and my message had gone down like a stone. It was therefore hardly surprising that, having various other problems - for example seeking to legally adopt a half-caste child whom we so deeply loved, whose mother had thrice changed her mind; and having our youngest retarded because of medical negligence - that I simply 'blew my top' at this game keeper. “Take this brace of pheasants back - your boss already knows that I am a vegetarian – and tell him to stick them up his bum!” Soon the village phone lines were buzzing.

- to be continued.

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