When I read about the thousands of pounds that were sent to the Manchester Dogs Home after the devastating fire, my first thought was how kind and generous people can be.

Then I found myself thinking unworthy thoughts along the lines of – would this have happened if it had been a care home for old people?

But I didn’t like to say it because it might have sounded censorious. I’m glad that people care for dogs, but I honestly believe they should care for frail old people more.

Then a journalist said what I’d been thinking. ‘I can’t help wondering what the response would have been if it had been an old people’s home,’ wrote Peter Hill, in his column in the Daily Express. ‘Actually, I’m sure there would have been nothing like the outpouring of grief and sympathy.

‘Thousands of children and elderly suffer lives of quiet desperation and we shake our heads but dogs and cats, newts and toads and we’re dancing up and down with rage.’

Thank God there are wonderful exceptions. At a meeting of our West of England supporters last year, in his opening talk the chairman said, ‘What I see looking around here is commitment: commitment that has been handed down the generations.’

A large part of that commitment has been raising money in various ways for the work, and personal donations. Because of this for over 207 years this little charity has been able to care for hundreds of old people in housing and in care and nursing homes.

Our managers and staff are second to none. Best of all, that vital element for Christians – spiritual support and encouragement is given naturally, every day, in good measure.Ladies chatting

The amazing thing is that God is affected by everything we do for His people. Matthew 25:40 says, ‘And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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