Which body has investments in ICI, Hillsdown Holdings and
Unigate, is the biggest private landowner in the UK and owns 8 intensive
livestock units one of which involves the keeping of rabbits for fur
A large multinational?
A. No, the Church of England.
Q. Who kept calves chained in tiny crates, deprived of roughage
and companionship on a farm in Storrington, Sussex?
An unfeeling farmer?
A. No, the Canons of Our Lady of England Priory.
Q. Who runs one of Britain's most intensive battery farms where
hens are crammed 6 at a time in tiny cages?
An Agri-business man?
A. No, the Convent of the Order of Passion of Jesus near Daventry,
Q. Where are more and more active, dedicated people working to
end the cruelty of factory farming?
A. Within the Church.
On 28th September in York Minster the Rt. Rev. John Austin Baker,
Bishop of Salisbury and patron of Compassion in World Farming, preached
the sermon of the first ever Service for Animals organised by Animal
Christian Concern. The Bishop condemned the cruelty of factory farming
"Christians, who close their minds and hearts to the cause of animal
welfare and the evils it seeks to combat are ignoring the fundamental
spiritual teaching of Christ himself. They are also refusing the role in
the world for which God gave us our brains and our moral sense, to be
God's agents to look after the world in the divine spirit of wisdom and
Animal Christian Concern (ACC) which organised the service is one of
many organisations campaigning on animal issues within the Church. ACC's
membership includes many Bishops and clergy, as well as concerned
The Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) is another
active organisation which is presently in correspondence with the Church
Commissioners with the aim of achieving a ban on all animal abuse on
Church owned land. ASWA has also just produced two excellent leaflets,
one dealing with factory farming and the suffering of battery hens, sows
and veal calves and the other on vivisection. These are available from
ASWA, a donation is necessary, however, to cover costs of printing and
The Christian Consultative Council for the Welfare of Animals (CCCWA)
is a consultative council consisting of representatives from member
organisations which include ASWA, Catholic Study Circle for Animal
Welfare, Quaker Concern for Animal Welfare and the St. Andrew Animal
Fund. The CCCWA aims "to encourage the Churches and their members, in
response to the insights of the Christian faith, to embrace an active
concern for the wellbeing of animals." Joan Watson, the Honorary
Secretary, is convinced the Church campaign is the most important
campaign of all - she says:-
"Just think there are 26 Anglican Bishops in the House of Lords and a
pulpit in every parish - what a powerful voice that could be if only we
could get the established 'Church' to speak out forcefully, against all
abuse of God's creatures."
The CCCWA is also corresponding with the Church Commissioners with
respect to the Christian involvement in intensive farming and produces a
leaflet 'Intercessions and Prayers for Animals' which is circulated
widely in this country and in the USA, Japan, Australia, France and E.
Germany. With respect to farming the Intercession includes the prayer:-
"that people may pressure governments to abolish intensive methods of
food production and that the preparation of all foods that involve
cruelty may be discontinued."
Compassion in World Farming greatly appreciates and admires the work
of all the organisations and asks all its Christian members to support
and assist these societies with the vital campaign.
From the December 1986 edition of Agscene - journal of
Compassion in World Farming. Reproduced with Thanks.