by Alan Gordon
A hunting parson found himself at the centre of an angry protest
yesterday when he preached at a tiny village church.
Fifty anti-hunting campaigners demonstrated against the Rev. Robin
Ray, assistant curate at St. Andrew's church at Boscombe, near
Salisbury, and joint master of a Wiltshire otter hunt.
Before the service a man pinned a poster saying "Hounds off our wild
life" to the altar cloth.
When 32-year old Mr. Ray arrived, the demonstrators booed and held up
banners - "Only rotters kill otters" and "Gory Hallelujah."
While Mr. Ray preached to a congregation of eight, the demonstrators
"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful
The curate kills them all."
Mr. Ray said: "If you people will be quiet during the service, I will
speak to you afterwards."
During the service the protesters blew hunting horns.
After the service Mr. Ray raised his hand and told the demonstrators:
"I bless you." They shouted: "We don't want your bloody blessing."
Demonstrators leapt on Mr. Ray's Land Rover as he drove off, but he
refused to talk to them.
From the Daily Mirror dated September 27, 1976
With thanks to Mike Huskisson and the Animal Welfare Information
See 'Hunting Parsons'