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Great, small, and furry

24 August 2012

RURAL parishes have great advantages when it comes to animal blessing services, and St Andrew's, Aldringham, in St Edmundsbury & Ipswich diocese, made the most of theirs. Pet-owners and farmers were invited to take their animals along to an open-air service in the churchyard, and anyone who did not have a real live pet could bring his or her teddy bear.

Cats, dogs, sheep, goldfish, and even a calf gathered on the grassy space of the churchyard, and the congregation sang "All things bright and beautiful", and "Think of a world without any flowers". It was the 16th service of its kind to be held at the church.

"It's a bit of fun, and also a chance to give thanks to God for the whole of creation," the Rector, the Revd Christine Brooks, said. "Animals give us companionship, commitment, and comfort, and I think it is important to celebrate that." She added: "It's amazing how peaceful it can be at these services," which is not always the experience in more urban churches.

The collection made at the service is to be sent to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.


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