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

From Summer 2011 Issue

Episode 9 - The Flock That Christendom Forgot; or an animal padreís uphill pilgrimage

An Angel From a Back Street

Having left the rural beauty of Firbeck Cum Letwell I spent the first few weeks based in the industrial, down town parish of Milnsbridge, Huddersfield (the home parish of ex. Prime minister, Harold Wilson) questioning whether I had really done the correct thing. Could it be that I had made one terrible mistake? But then, one damp, depressing morning, complete with cape and cassock, I decided to sample the local shopping centre which was way down in a hollow. Then, on passing the gaunt mills on my return homewards I came to the foot of a steep street, after having crossed a canal bridge. And there I found a young, rather poorly clad boy approaching me with eyes all aglow and a shopping bag in his hand. His eyes were fixed on me as he appeared to query: "Is he or isn't he?" "Yes, I know where you've come from!" he said. Then, after gently touching my garb, he pointed his finger upwards to the sky. His face all radiant, he stated: "You have come from up there!"

Before I could say anything he simply made his way round me to further his journey, while glimpsing back with absolute joy. Somehow, I never recognized such a youngster again - even though nine years within that parish were to follow. But, to myself, he had been a veritable angel sent from God! Yes, I knew that I was where the Lord wanted me to minister.

A Further Sign From God

Indeed, as if that were not sufficiently a sign in itself, within a few months another unmistakable confirmation followed, this time via the Huddersfield evening newspaper. For splashed across the headlines came reference to two localities bordering on the Pennine moors where dogs lived out in the open all year round, chained to an extension of wire; and each night they retired into respective wooden barrels; their only shelter from the blizzards and the snow.

Such dogs were being used to deter sheep from wandering out from the bleak moors - yet the erection of cattle grids would surely have served the purpose as good! The exposers of this barbaric practice were a delightful young lady and her wonderful uncle. Both of them, devout animal carers, yet limited in knowing what they could do to bring this practice to an end - the RSPCA having shown minimum concern - they had taken it upon themselves to notify the press. Well, I suppose that in contrast with their daily feeding and befriending of these dogs, my efforts were minimal. I simply visited the sites. And knowing that 'the pen is mightier than the sword,' I wrote up to the paper commending the compassion and care this girl and her uncle had shown to defenceless creatures. Consequently, the top publicity that followed proved enough to terminate the whole nasty business.

Through this delightful young lady and her caring uncle I also made the acquaintance of other animal activists and carers. Meetings were frequently attended and the inauguration of an annual animal blessing service usually brought an encouraging response.

- to be continued.

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