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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.

Autumn Study Course

Saint Paul speaks of the three great virtues of faith, hope and love. We hear a lot about love. Who could disagree with loving one another? Faith is obviously essential if we are to have any sort of relationship with God and Jesus Christ.

But hope often gets forgotten about. Among the three great, or theological virtues, it often comes a poor third. On the other hand, it is central to the Christian faith: based on the Apostles witness to the resurrection, we look forward in hope to what shall be.

This autumn our course is on Hope. The first four sessions are based on a film based at key places around the island of Patmos, where the book of Revelation was written. Then we will have two further sessions on Mary Magdalene, the first witness of the resurrection, and will be basing our reflections on the recent film about her life. The course begins on Wednesday 25th September at 7.30 pm at Saint Giles Barn.

  • 25th September: Do not be afraid
  • 2nd October: The best is yet to be
  • 9th  October: Heaven on earth
  • 16th October: The river of life
  • 23rd October: Mary Magdalene
  • 30th October: Mary Magdalene

Do please join us and help us reflect together on this central Christian virtue of hope.