The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973

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Lest We Forget The Animals!

‘My, don’t the months pass by?’ It’ll soon be another Armistice Sunday and, though humans will be remembered from two past world wars, the animals sacrificed in them will be lucky indeed if they ever as much as get a mention! Yes, except for one place: the Hyde Park Cenotaph in London; because: God giving me strength, I’ll be there to remember them, accompanied by my wonderful wife Doreen. Perhaps you’d like to come and join us there, around 10.30am. You’ll be most welcome! No other cleric has so far taken the initiative in previous years. If they turn up this year then they can assist me! It is indeed, I feel, more than a coincidence that very early this year my friend of past militance and courage, dear Cynthia O’Neil, got in touch with me over such a potential gathering; and now, in recent weeks, a friend whom I’ve corresponded with over the years – yet have never actually met! – has compiled a most fitting hymn - along with a prayer for a service suitable at an animal cenotaph. Well, I can assure her, we’ll sing it.

If you wish to come along to this ‘Animals Cenotaph’ shown above, which is fairly near to Speakers Corner – a spot I used to spout from as a confident twenty year old! - then do make your way to the location. I cannot tell you about where to park. I’m not so familiar with London these days; but I’ll be there! Meanwhile, here is the hymn that Linda (Bodicoat) of Leicester has written for such a memorial service. So why not get practising it in time for wherever you intend to remember the animals (London, Leicester or elsewhere) on this coming Remembrance Sunday: the 9th of November?

O God of peace and justice, our comforter and friend.
Our strength in times of weakness; whose mercy knows no end.
We gather to remember the lives now torn apart,
By bitterness and conflict and foolishness of heart.
Through killing fields and deserts, all down the ages long.
Faint echoes of the fallen; their memories linger on.

We pray for all your creatures, who also count the cost,
We recognize their service; the precious lives now lost.
In faithful co-existence; companions, side by side;
In wars, not of their making, they toiled and fought and died.
Their skills of navigation, brute strength; the debt we owe.
In war; the hidden victims, in peace; contempt we show.

When faith and hope, together, combine in unity,
To pray that all creation, from bondage shall be free;
When guns of war fall silent, across each hill and plain,
No more by faith divided; God’s peace replacing pain.
When swords are turned to ploughshares and wars and conflicts cease;
All nations live together, in harmony and peace.

- Linda Bodicoat. C. 2008

May I suggest that you learn the above hymn to the tune Linda requests: ‘I vow to thee my country’? and suggest getting further copies from her at the special price of 25 for £4.95, 50 for £8.95 or, if you’re really optimistic! -100 for £14.50. Such prices are even inclusive of postage and packing, but I feel that Linda is being over generous here and such a lovely and dedicated lady needs all the help of which she is so worthy in the great cause. Incidentally, she has cards for pet bereavement, for those whose pet is ill, and numerous other literature which is presented artistically. You’ll appreciate that I cannot – through shortness of space and time – be an advertising agency for other worthwhile charities run on a shoestring. Never ask me to!. But Linda’s cause is an exception here and contacting her for her price list, or samples of her neat publications, will be well worth the effort.

Contact: Linda J. Bodicoat, 51, Highfield Street, Earl Shilton, Leicester LE9 7HS. Tel: 01455 846085. e.mail: linjbrosecottage@aol.com

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