Who are we?

We are an Anglican (Church of England) organisation founded over 30 years ago. We are called to make Christians and others aware of the need to care for the whole of creation. In particular, we are concerned with the abuse of animals.

Intensive farming, the food chain, experimentation, diseases associated with animals, the ill treatment of pets and the killing of animals for pleasure all raise ethical questions. Animal issues are theological issues and should be on the churches’ agenda.

We believe that God has given us a responsibility towards sentient beings with whom we share God’s world. The Bible teaches us that God has given us ‘dominion’ not ‘domination’ over animals (Genesis 1:26). This means ‘loving care’ not ‘ruthless exploitation’.

We teach respect for all creation and highlight the ways in which animals suffer as a result of human neglect, exploitation and cruelty.

We acknowledge our own part in not caring for the environment and the need for awareness and education to bring about change.

What do we do?

We encourage churches to include animal welfare concerns in their prayers. Worship and Thanksgiving are at the heart of Christian
life and embrace all that God has made. We encourage and help churches to hold animal blessing services and to be aware of the need to care for God’s creation.

Through education and lawful action, we advance the conservation and well being of animals and co-operate with other organisations, religious and secular, that have similar aims.

We produce a regular magazine, Animalwatch (free to members) containing articles and information about animal welfare issues from a Christian perspective as well as details of forthcoming events. The magazine provides an opportunity for members to share their ideas, stories and concerns. We also publish a series of leaflets and booklets on a range of animal welfare issues and aim to ensure our materials are balanced and theologically and scientifically sound. We arrange an annual service on Animal Welfare Sunday (nearest Sunday to 4th October – St Francistide) and encourage other churches to also celebrate this date. We provide free resources to help you do this. We promote awareness through exhibitions, meetings, talks and preaching.

What do we believe?

We believe that the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it (Psalm 24:1). We believe that the Bible teaches us to care for animals. In the Hebrew Scriptures there are many rules governing animal welfare and our duty towards them.

In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us that God cares for his creatures, ‘Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them’ (Mt 6:25). He taught about rescuing animals in distress, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not pull it out on a sabbath day? (Lk 14:5) and the need to protect and care for animals. We believe that God so loved the world (the cosmos), not just human beings that he sent his Son to redeem the whole of the created order and as St Paul writes, through Jesus, God has reconciled all things to himself. (Col. 1:15-20)