The Fellowship of Life
On the 4th October, to mark the birth of St Francis of Assisi, an estimated one thousand Christians packed Westminster Abbey for a Special Service for Animals, organised by the Christian Consultative Council for the Welfare of Animals.
The theme of the service was to thank God for the unending wonder of the created world, to pray for all animals in the service of humans and who suffer at our hands and to pray that those who use and work with animals may be given compassion and gentle hands.
Clive Hollands gave an excellent address on this theme during which he quoted the following extract from a report commissioned in 1970 by the Church of England Board for Social Responsibility:-
"We make animals work for us, carry us, amuse us and earn money for us. We also make them die for us, sometimes in ways which would be rapidly rejected if we could readily see it done. In many fields we use them, not with gratitude and compassion, but, with thoughtlessness, arrogance and complete selfishness."
Since 1970 several eminent Church leaders have spoken out against factory farming, animal experimentation and killing for fun or adornment, but, sadly, the 'established Church' is silent still.
We fervently hope that the immense support for the Animal Service will serve to arouse the Church hierarchy from its seeming apathy towards the suffering of God's defenceless creatures.
The Christian Consultative Council for the Welfare of Animals
From the December 1987 edition of Agscene - journal of Compassion In World Farming. Reproduced with Thanks.
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