Pilgrimpace's Blog

leaps and bounds

One of the joys of this time of year is Carol Services.  I spent a lot of last week with schools beginning with classes coming to Church to learn about how we observe Advent and then Carol Services and Christmas Assemblies, joining in with the excitement and happiness of the children; Christmas anticipated early before the end of term.  The privilege of telling and singing and hearing again the Christmas story, and of seeing it through the eyes of the very young.  Yesterday evening members of St Bede’s and neighbours joined together to sing carols and hear Bible readings in beautiful candlelight.

And this afternoon we have a special Carol Service at St Gabriel’s, Weoley Castle.  Since the early 1960’s, the RSPCA have had an Animal Centre and Hospital at the bottom of Barnes Hill.  Unfortunately, it has now become outdated and too small.  The RSPCA are raising money through The Leaps and Bounds Appeal for a new state of the art centre in Frankley.  As you will see, this is needed; in November 22 dogs, 63 cats and 17 small animals were rescued.

We are very pleased to be hosting the RSPCA Carol Service to support this.  Concern for animals and their welfare is a key part of Christian faith and discipleship.  At Christmas, we hear the words of Isaiah Chapter 11 with its vision of peace and love between animals and humans.

We are drawn to the Crib with the animals surrounding the Christ Child along with Mary, Joseph and the shepherds.  The Crib was first used for Christmas devotions by St Francis of Assisi who, as well as being the friend and brother of animals, calls us much deeper, into an essential humility that puts us into a right relationship with God the Creator, all creatures and the whole creation.

We might also remember that the RSPCA, the first national animal welfare society in the world, was founded by the Anglican priest Arthur Broome in 1824.  Broome gave up his parish to work unpaid for the SPCA and was imprisoned for its debts.

We would love to have you with us this afternoon.  The service starts at 4.30pm and will be filmed by Central News.  When it finishes, there will be a candlelight procession down Barnes Hill and refreshments at the Animal Centre.  At some point between 6 and 6.30 there will be a live Christmas Blessing of the Centre on Central News.


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An excellent evening. It will be on Central News tomorrow.

Comment by pilgrimpace

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