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
"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.