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."