Scottish children campaign to save church bear first posted 16 October 2002

 TOLLCROSS - first posted 16 October 2002 - 210 words

Children at a Scottish Kirk have launched a campaign to save their minister's teddy-bear from redundancy.

Since 1980 the Rev Graham Leitch, from Barclay Church, Tollcross, has used a bear puppet called Barclay in his young people's services. Barclay has led an active live and was beginning to look a little worse for wear. When some of his stuffing began to come out a rumour went round the church that Barclay was due to be scrapped and replaced by a new model.

The children were so concerned by the news, they got a petition which was signed by more than 200 people. A group of young teenagers also composed a protest song which they performed at last Sunday morning's service.

"He wasn't always so popular," said Graham, "but now Barclay has touched the hearts and won the loyalty of a whole generation and at the suggestion of his disappearance the children have risen up in protest.

"I was surprised at the strength of their feeling " he said, "but the result has been very useful. The children are learning about campaigning. If they can save Barclay Bear then perhaps they will see that they can make a difference on issues that matter more."

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