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News

Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals

Saint Seraphim and a bear

Our parishioner Dr Christina Nellist has helped to set up a new charity, Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals (Charity registered in England no. 1175072) under the patronage of His Excellency Kallistos, Metropolitan of Diokleia. Their website at http://panorthodoxconcernforanimals.org/ already contains a good range of articles, including one by Christina on ‘The Death of a Companion Animal’. She quotes the Cypriot Bishop Isaias as teaching that ‘If you are a good Christian you will love the animals and they will love you back and there are many books showing this through the lives of the early Saints… You cannot find a Holy man who has mistreated animals.’ She goes on to write ‘It would seem entirely Orthodox therefore to grieve for the loss of a companion animal who, for example, may have been a long-term member of the family; the only close companion of the owner; or who may have been the last link with the earlier death of a partner or child. Regardless of the reason, for many there appears to be a genuine need to grieve. There is also the need for us to show compassion to our human friend, relative or member of our congregation in this situation.’

Dr Christina Nellist lives in Upminster and Wales. She has recently received a PhD from the University of Winchester for her thesis on ancient and modern teachings in Eastern Orthodox theology and concern for animals. She is a retired teacher and coordinator for Science and worked with the governments of Chile and the Seychelles on animal protection and public health issues.

You are invited to send photos and their stories, especially of elders and saints within the Russian tradition, to panorthodoxconcernforanimals@gmail.com

Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals