Gareth Hateley, the outgoing president of the BCVA and Chris Swift, a practitioner in Penrith, had organised a great breakfast meeting at the BCVA congress in Southport in October. There was a really encouraging turnout for such an early hour of the day, and Gareth along with Christianne Glossop, CVO for Wales, shared amazing testimonies of how God has shaped their lives and plays such an integral part in who they both are and the work in which they are involved. I will never look at a cow’s bottom in the same way again after Gareth was saying how the brand numbers help him to think about the different psalms!! Christianne shared her huge heart for the farmers in Wales and the TB situation, and that we can all play a part praying for every single farm.

Professor Michael Clarkson gave a fascinating talk on the subject “Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine versus Wishful Thinking Christian Belief”. He looked at how we gather the evidence for the medicines we use on a day to day basis and how that evidenced based medicine is what we all want and strive for. However this evidence it is not always that easy to obtain, and to prove reliable. How do we decide which medicines to prescribe? Do we rely on what we were taught at college, what the boss tells us to use, what the drug companies tell us or what we have always used and found that it works? For many medicines there is much reliable evidence, but for others, there is clearly some degree of wishful thinking involved!

He then went on to compare it with the evidence gathered by Dr Luke in the New Testament, and how his evidence is so much more reliable than the evidence that we have. Having lived some four hundred years after Hippocrates, he would probably have taken the Hippocratic oath, and he begins his first book by explaining why and how he obtained his evidence. “I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning. I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” Luke 1:2 NIV. His books bear evidence of this careful study, with his attention to detail on medical matters, his explanation of the leading authorities at the time, and his very accurate knowledge of contemporary geography. His books show the evidence for Jesus Christ, for the empty tomb, for the appearances after his resurrection, and for the birth of the church by his disciples. Is Christian belief wishful thinking? Ask Dr Luke!

The meeting was a wonderful opportunity to meet with other Christian, and non-Christian vets. We shared ideas, thoughts and prayer requests and considered some possible ways forwards for VCF. We pray that God will give us the opportunity to do the same next year.