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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
RSPCA issues prayers for Animal Welfare Sunday
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¬†Prayers for animals slaughtered for food, as well as hunted animals and lab animals, are included in a new edition of a Service for Animal Welfare, published by the RSPCA on the eve of the feast of St Francis of Assisi. One prayer asks that the "Compassionate God" will "awaken within us a sense of feeling for all living creatures", and another asks for forgiveness for our "callousness and cruelty to animals". The new service booklet is being distributed to thousands of clergy from many denominations around the UK, in an attempt to raise consciousness about the plight of animals among the churches. "Clergy don't often appreciate that animal welfare is a Christian duty", said the author, Oxford don, the Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, "after all, it was an Anglican priest who help found the RSPCA ≠ the first animal welfare society in the world - in 1824." Animal services have grown in number since Professor Linzey wrote the first service of its kind as a theological student back in 1975. "The services usually combine four elements: repentance, thanksgiving, celebration, and the need for compassion" said Professor Linzey, "it is only right that Christians should repent of their sins towards animals. "Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon once said that a person could not be a true Christian if their cat or dog were not the better off for it ≠ and that should sum up the Christian view", said Professor Linzey. Mervyn Bocking, emeritus chair of the Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, (now Catholic Concern for Animals) said: "I was delighted to hear about this new booklet. Professor Linzey has done tremendous work in the field of Theology and Animal Welfare. I hope this new edition will be widely used." Copies of the Service can be obtained from Purchase and Supply Department at RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS. For more details visit:
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