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



Silent vigil - York Minster (1983)

From the March/April 1984 edition of Outrage! with thanks to Animal Aid: 

At 4.00 pm on 18 December about 150 Animal Aid members gathered at York Railway Station, holding candles and banners and moved off to demonstrate outside York Minster.

The aim of the peaceful demonstration was to awaken the established Church to the plight of animals, particularly at Christmas. The Dean of the Minster had already been quoted in a local paper as being very angry that he had not been consulted, but that he supposed it was alright for us to demonstrate if we really thought we had anything to demonstrate about. A cassocked figure, presumably the Dean, swept past us indignantly at the end of the service.

The Archbishop of York had been approached and asked to receive a small deputation. Quite conveniently, he was not going to be available on that day, and no alternative date was suggested.

Local publicity was good. We managed, with the numbers present to surround the two public sides of the Minster with candlelight, and the effect was eye catching.

After the main demonstration, many groups went off to repeat the theme at other local churches in York, and for the Bradford group this proved to be the one ray of hope of the day. We had been intending to leaflet at the church of St. Michael Le Belfry, but we found that they had arranged with the Minister to hold their Carol Service in the Minster itself. About 1,500 people turned up to the service and most were in favour of what we were doing. We were assured that the Minister would be interested in our aims, and we were invited into the service, which a small group attended. We intend to follow this up.

Thank you to all who attended and stood their ground on a particularly windy corner of York. Let us hope it gave at least a few people food for thought.

Kathryn Reynolds

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