Archbishop turns down RSPCA offer
The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA.
The Most Rev Justin Welby declined the invitation from the animal charity as he has "reluctantly decided to restrict his patronage", a spokesman for Lambeth Palace said.
His predecessor, Dr Rowan Williams, was vice-patron of the RSPCA, which was founded by an Anglican priest, the Rev Arthur Broome, in 1824.
The spokesman said: "The Archbishop has received many kind invitations to patron a large variety of charities and good causes.
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"However, in light of the sheer volume of the requests the Archbishop receives, and the many pressures on his time and resources, he has reluctantly decided to restrict his patronage to a manageable number of organisations. Nevertheless, the Archbishop has enormous admiration for the RSPCA and hopes to see its work thrive long into the future."
Last year the RSPCA was heavily criticised after it emerged it spent £326,000 on legal action against a fox hunt.
Critics claimed the "staggering" expense of bringing the prosecution against the Heythrop Hunt in the Cotswolds was a waste of the money donated to the charity by members of the public.