By Kate Bradley.
The Church of England is under the controversial spotlight of a Dorset anti-hunt campaigner. A petition has been started that demands that the Reverend, who holds a position of ecclesiastical training within the Hereford Diocese should either resign or be dismissed. He has been filmed by the Hunt Watch Investigation team which is funded by the League Against Cruel Sports, hosting fox hunting meets at his church. It is common knowledge that the Church of England listens to not many people, if they didn’t hear the voice of sex abuse victims over the years then its not likely the church are going to start to show empathy with foxes. And we all know that the head of the church is the Queen of England who has been filmed by animal rights campaigners hitting pheasants with her walking stick after she hasn’t shot them properly. So let’s be clear here that a single petition is not going to make a dent into the minds of those that run the Church of England. However, hunt Campaigners such as the Three Counties hunt saboteur group remain determined to follow and film this Reverend every time he hunts wearing a bowler hat and the church’s dog collar. Campaigners view this as being an act of obscene hypocrisy and feel that highlights once again, the corrupt flaws that lie within the church system. One of those major flaws (apart from being involved with animal cruelty) is the Church’s failure to properly address and log complaints.
Since the Church of England vicar was spotted hunting with the South Hereford hunt this has provoked a huge deluge of written complaints all of which have been casually swept aside by the Archdeacon of Hereford Paddy Benson. It is an astonishing neglectful attitude considering that the master of the South Hereford Hunt has been filmed throwing live fox cubs to his hounds at the kennels. This footage is one of the most disturbing, upsetting and unbelievably cruel acts ever to have come to light and joins the catalogue of atrocities committed by various fox hunting groups over the years. Since this incident was reported to the police two of the hunt members have been arrested and released on bail and the kennels were shut down by Police.
The petition that demands the sacking of Reverend Neil Patterson was handed to Archdeacon Paddy Benson whose response was:
“You ask that Church of England land will not be used for fox hunting meets again. It is not possible to give such as assurance, not least because there is no single land-owning body called ‘The Church of England’. The Church Commissioners own a lot of land; the various dioceses including the Diocese of Hereford own some land. Individual churchyards belong to the vicar in his or her corporate capacity. Each has to make its own decision.
The Church of England is committed to animal welfare, and to protection of the environment: these are among our mission objectives. However I do not need to tell you that within the church – as in the population at large – there are different views on how this relates to fox-hunting”
Campaigners are confused as to how the church claims to be committed to animal welfare whilst one of its vicars is often out riding with this hunt wearing the uniform of the church.
Archdeacon Benson also stated that fox hunting is necessary to protect livestock and sometimes “human babies”. Quite how throwing live and innocent fox cubs to a pack of hounds protects livestock and “human babies” is unclear. The throwing of the fox cubs to hounds actually trains the hounds to be extremely savage towards foxes that then provides a bloodlusting entertainment – similar to how bulls are trained to attack people in a bullfighting ring.
There is no sympathy, respect or sadness shown to these young and innocent fox cubs and clearly the Archdeacon Paddy Benson and his Reverend Neil Patterson regards it as a harmless activity and views the campaigners petition as something coming “from an extreme far left view”.
The Rev Neil Patterson does not deny he is a supporter of fox hunting and he has also hosted the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt and hosted a lawn meet for both packs at Weston Under Penyard church, despite the fact that these hunts are routinely shown to break the law this vicar has been given the permission of his Archdeacon to continue his blood sport hobby.
Dorset Anti-hunt campaigner – giving a voice and remembrance to the cubs savaged by South Hereford Hunt.