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All sorts and conditions

01 August 2014

DOGS come in infinite varieties, but almost always offer unfailing loyalty and affection. St Mary's, Gamlingay, in the diocese of Ely, was filled with them for the first pet service held there, and there were also a pair of guinea pigs and a large black horse.

All the villagers of the Gamlingay community had been invited to bring either their pets, or pictures of them, to be blessed in a special act of celebration and thanksgiving. Among the dogs were hearing dogs for the deaf, and dogs for the disabled; and their owners were invited to give short testimonies about what a difference the animals had made to their lives.

"Our village is full of animals, as is the surrounding countryside," the Rector of Gamlingay with Hatley and Everton, the Revd Steve Rothwell, says, "and the church felt that we wanted to acknowledge and give thanks for all the animals in our lives.

"So this service is a celebration of the life we share with our animals, whether pets, companions, or working animals."

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