Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

Christian the Lion – The Bond of Love that Remained Unbroken

Christian the Lion

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

Our hertes doth bow to the power of this story of “Christian the Lion”.   A love between two men and a creature of the wild.    A love between true friends.   Open your hertes dear Knyghts to hear a tale of strength,  nobleness,  courage and love.   A tale you will never forget.

In 1969 in London,  John Rendall and his friend Ace Bourke saw a three-month-old lion cub in Harrods Department Store for sale.  They brought him home and kept him in their flat, which they shared.    With love and kindness they cared for this little cub named Christian.    Every day they would take him to the graveyard to run around and play football with the permission of the local vicar.   They loved him and he loved them.

John and Ace knew that Christian was growing up and soon he would need a new home.

Amazingly they met actress Virginia Mckenna,  who had starred in the film “Born Free”,  which was about George and Joy Adamson who released lions into the wild.    John and Ace,  with Virginia’s help,  flew Christian to Kenya where he was released into the national park.  He was now free due to their love.

After four years of missing their friend, John and Ace travelled to Kora in Kenya in hopes of finding Christian once again.   He had disappeared into the bush but hours before they arrived he was spotted with his lionesses and cubs.   This spectacular moment was captured on film, where Christian sees his old friends and remembers the love he had for them.  The embrace with his big paws you will never forget.

More than 16 million people have now viewed this Youtube video.  Virginia McKenna founded the Born Free wildlife charity,  which is now run by her son Will Travers.   This heartfelt scene is part of Christian the Lion DVD released in 2006. The DVD can be purchased at Beckmann Direct or The Born Free Foundation.

Anthony “Ace” Bourke now lives in Australia as a lecturer and expert in the area of Aboriginal Art.    John Rendall lives in the UK and is a Trustee of the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust.    Kerri-Anne on Mornings in Australia interviewed John and Ace about Christian and the visits made after his release.  It is fascinating to hear their stories.

Part I

Part II

If you want to write to John and Ace or send a donation to help other animals that are in danger please write to:
George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust
16a Park View Road
N3 2JB
Tel: +44 (0)20 8343 4246
Fax: +44 (0)20 8343 4048
or visit

The arms of love embraceth all.    We thanketh John and Ace for caring about the suffering of a vulnerable little creature.     Their love set him free,  so he could be who he was meant to be, a creature of myght.   Anyone who has truly loved a creature on this planet will understand this unbreakable bond.

We bow our iron heads in honour of  Sir John, Sir Ace and Sir Christian.  We will always love you.

Lady Sharon
Scribe of The Knights of the Pain Table

About The Author


9 Responses to “Christian the Lion – The Bond of Love that Remained Unbroken”

  1. thank you for such a beautiful story] john and ace must be so proud

  2. Lady Sharon says:

    Dear Margaret,

    You are most welcome. It is an honour to share a story such as this. Apparently since this story has moved so many people, there are plans to do a motion picture on the story of Christian. It is a wonderful idea as it reminds us all of the bond we have with all the creatures on this earth.

    Take care and Blessings from Camelot Margaret,

    Lady Sharon
    Scribe of The Knights of the Pain Table

  3. Diane Bremner Toronto says:

    I can’t stop watching the video of Christian back in the 60’s and these two young men, who happen to be my age, then and now. LOL

    I can see by the look on Ace’s face in the video at the reunion that his heart is bursting with love.

    God’s works of art.

  4. Carla Santos says:

    Hello my name is Carla, and i´m from Portugal, in the last 2 days, i´ve see the video 20 times, and i always cry when i see again… I want to thanks to Jonh ang Ace, for the must beautiful prove of love, that i see… thank you for make me believe that true love still exist…

  5. Donna Bridges says:

    I have watched this video of Christian with Ace and John and it gives me such joy. I have always known that the animal/human bond is very great and they have feelings just as we do – grief and joy. During children’s story time at church I told this story and the children were so happy and the adults cried. It will be so wonderful when we get to heaven and all the pets that we have loved jump into our arms.

  6. Diane Bremner says:

    I bought the complete video of Christian, the Lion at World’s End. It takes us through his life in London with Ace and John, then living with Virginia and Bill, and then on to Africa to George. So if you loved the clip you will love this video and the videos, Born Free and Living Free, about the life of Elsa the lioness and her cubs, Jespah, Goba and Little Elsa. They can be purchased from the Bornfree Wildlife Association–a must see, to bring you joy and laughter.

  7. Lady Sharon says:

    Dear Diane,

    What a wonderful passion you have in your herte. That moment where Christian runs and gives a big hug to both John and Ace, is such a piercing event. We are so lucky to be able to witness it. Your words:
    “God’s Work of Art” was a beautiful way to describe this moment.

    Thank you for sharing your love for the video about these lions. I believe there are talks another movie may be made. We shall watch with interest.

    Thank you Diane for your lovely words. May all the stars give light to thy fair way.

    Lady Sharon

  8. Lady Sharon says:

    Dear Carla,

    What a beautiful tribute to love. I think the reason we love to watch that moment over and over is because we are witness to true love. Our hertes know the truth and are starved for real love.

    Carla, you must have a lovely herte to respond with so much passion.

    May the best of happiness, honour and fortunes keep with you.

    Your Scribe,
    Lady Sharon

  9. Lady Sharon says:

    Dear Donna,

    I could not have expressed it any better. When we witness a moment of true love between a man and a lion, we realize that love is the strongest force and it can transcend all our barriers.

    I, too, look forward to the moment I am reunited with my dogs. Let us be thankful that we feel that bond between animal and human, because it is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

    Thank you Donna for sharing your thoughts. It is an honor to meet you.

    Heavenly Blessings to you,

    Lady Sharon