Pets bring owners to church

A congregation of canines filled the Cotterell chapel and sat reverently for the start of a service of blessing in St John’s, Byford, on Sunday, Sept 30, which is the nearest Sunday to St Francis’ Day.
Those owners not brought by their dogs had pictures of cats, chickens, gerbils, images on tablets and ‘phones – and Barney the pony brought his young rider, Ruby, up to the church but preferred to stay outside for his blessing.
The service led by the vicar, Revd Sean Semple, gave thanks for God’s creation in responsive psalm style. It included a short sermon which recognised the value pets and other animals of God’s creation bring to our world – including our local farms and farmers. All Things Bright and Beautiful (of course!) featured as the hymn, and at the end every pet went home buoyed by a personal, prayerful blessing.
Here are some pictures from the day

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