Animals receive blessing in special service in Quedgeley

Published: Tuesday October 10, 2023

The Revd Mark Siddall blesses a small dog with his son smiling onForty people and their pets took part in a special service of blessing at Saint James’ in Quedgeley on Sunday 8 October.

The blessing of animals service was conducted by the Revd Mark Siddall and Fr. Hugh Broad and, as the weather was warm and sunny, the afternoon service was held outside on the church grounds.

People from across the worshipping community arrived with their pets, which included two goldfish, named Winnie and Fred, dogs, cats and rabbits. Although, sadly, Shortie the donkey decided he couldn’t attend as he was frightened by the noise of dogs barking. Reportedly, most of the pets were very well behaved and enjoyed the attention they received throughout the service.

Tony and Joy Cockerton took Dotty, their West Highland Terrier, to the blessing. Joy said, “It was a lovely afternoon. We wanted to have Dotty blessed because we believe she is part of God’s Creation and we love her dearly.”

Dan Siddall, age 9, said, “I loved the way that the blessing shows us that all of God’s creatures are important to Him.”

During the half-hour service, each pet and their owner received an individual blessing.

Rowan Scott-Berry said, “We brought our two cats to be blessed by Revd Mark, which felt particularly special as our two children were baptised by Mark earlier this year. It also brought us together with other members of the community and congregation along with their pets which we wouldn’t normally meet. The highlight was seeing Revd Mark help chase an escaped bunny, which we are still giggling about, but we particularly enjoyed singing and praying over our pets together. It was a memorable service honouring St Francis.”

Mark said, “We are all God’s creatures, as St Francis knew well. Saying sorry for the ways we mistreat non-human animals, giving thanks to God for them and asking his blessing is a source of joy as we rediscover who God wants us to be in His Creation. It was a very fulfilling and happy time for all of us.”



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