Fr Mark writes… about the Animal Service

On Sunday 15th September, we are having our Animal Service at 4pm. I am sure that more people would attend this wonderful service if they were aware it was taking place. So do please make a special effort to attend and to tell friends, family and neighbours about it.

People bring their cats and dogs, rabbits and hamsters, mice and fish. I have also known a lamb attend, a horse, and a tortoise. I bring Gregory my goose along. And those who don’t have pets, can bring a cuddly toy as a symbol of the animal world. If you have had pets who have died, then bring pictures of them along.

The Animal Service is great fun but that is not its main purpose. We have an Animal Service to remind ourselves that we are all creatures of God, both animals as well as humans are creatures of God. That animals are created and loved by God. It reminds us that we should make every effort to treat animals with care and compassion. Many creatures are threatened with extinction. So many are cruelly treated. The Animal Service gives us the opportunity to think and pray about the important issues surrounding animals.

Pets play an important part in many people’s lives. For many they are as important as family members and close friends. The death of a pet can be a real bereavement. So the Animal Service enables us to recognise our pets’ importance to us and to pray for them.

During the Animal Service on 15th September, each animal will be given a special blessing of its own. Do bring your pets for this blessing and if you don’t have a pet, bring a photograph of a past pet to be blessed, or a cuddly toy animal as a reminder of God’s blessing on the whole of creation.