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


Churches under fire on animal welfare

by Suzanne Kelsey

The attitude of the churches as a whole to animal welfare was criticised by the speaker at the annual animal service held at St Michael at the Northgate, Oxford on Sunday.

Mr Mervyn Bocking, a member of the Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, spoke about the need for a better lead from the churches.

"Animals are not getting a square deal from the human race," he said. "That is why we need animal welfare groups to get the church into the 20th and 21st centuries."

Representatives of local branches of a number of animal welfare groups were in the congregation. Many of the pews were shared by an animal or two - mostly dogs, but there was also a pair of gerbils.

The service was led by the vicar, the Rev Stephen Pix. After the final hymn he invited the owners to bring their pets to the altar steps for a blessing. There were prayers for an end to live animal exports and for other issues of concern.

The lessons were read by Ms Joyce Smith, representing Compassion in World Farming and Mrs June Whitehouse, representing the Vegetarian Society. The collection was given to the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary.

Oxford Mail, October 19, 1995.

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