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A Publication of

From The Ark No. 193 - Spring 2003


I have given over the editorial space to our new Chairman for this issue. It just leaves me to ask for the prayers of everyone over two crucial issues which are still undecided at the time of going to press. One is the UK Governmentís proposal for a partial ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs. The other is the proposed building of a primate research laboratory in Cambridge. The one does not go far enough - the other goes way too far. As Christians we cannot support the concept of causing suffering to animals for pleasure, nor for a science which is, at best, flawed and which disregards the duties we have as human beings created in Godís image to ensure the welfare of animals, particularly of Primates, our nearest relatives. There is a viable alternative to hunting, which keeps all the thrills and colour of the spectacle, and that is to use drags. Science would find non-animal alternatives very quickly, once funding were to be channelled that way.

Message from our new Chairman

From modest beginnings, the CSCAW has raised awareness and concern for animal welfare. We stand on the shoulders of valiant ancestors. Much, however, remains to be done. The whole of Godís creation suffers unprecedented, and unsustainable, human onslaught which, for many species, and for whole ecosystems, already is terminal. I am honoured to be a life member, and now committee chairman of CSCAW. As we go forward, in this decisive decade, we will proceed ecumenically, preserving our Catholic identity while co-operating, where possible, with other Christian animal welfare organisations, as our Secretary, Deborah Jones, suggested at the AGM.

Through baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist, we share in the royal priesthood of Jesus. Ministry and evangelisation is our lifestyle. Within that ministry and evangelisation is the welfare of animals and all creation. Wherever there are permanent deacons - and they are increasing - we can ask their assistance, and leadership, in animal welfare. Historically, deacons are especially linked to the bishop, commissioned to relate Christian charity and outreach, to our worship. Deacons can help us include animals in our services. When we pray for other creatures, we grow in love and concern for them. Another green space to watch - and help to fill - is the Study Circleís inclusion of youth in animal welfare. Deborah Jonesí pioneering Young Ark and Teens Ark, is a first step. With the assistance of parents, clergy, and teachers, we can help youngsters to help our fellow sensate creatures. In this way, the CSCAW can assist baptised young people to remain with Jesus, and within his Church.

Ecumenical co-operation, our baptismal ministry, our deacons, our youth - through these, and with these in the community of the Church, the CSCAW serves the Risen Christ, and all his creatures. Edward Echlin

Return to The Ark No. 193

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