Vicar to hold special blessing for pets at St Helen's Church in North Thoresby
IN THE name of the father, the son and the holy goat... baa-men.
Animals of all varieties are invited to a special blessing at St Helen's Church, in North Thoresby, on Sunday.
From the cutest hamster to the grandest horse, pet owners will join together to give thanks for their animals in true countryside spirit.
And the Reverend Bob Emm, wants to see every animal- lover there, too.
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His wife, Susan, who has helped organise the event, is looking forward to getting to know the animals of North Thoresby and the surrounding area.
She said: "Any animal that is regarded as a pet is welcome. We feel it is terribly important to give thanks for the animals because pets are so important to people.
"Pets give their owners unconditional love and this is our chance to say thank you for that. The relationship we have with animals is incredibly special."
There are no restrictions on the type of animal that may be blessed and organisers have even got over obvious hurdles – such as how horses will fit through church doors – by holding the informal service will be held in the rectory gardens.
But as with most events nowadays there are a few health and safety-type rules to abide, including horses must be covered by public liability insurance, dogs need to be on a lead and cats must come in a box.
The service took place two years ago and was well received by the local community.
This year, participants will sit in a circle while Bob blesses each animal. There may also be singing and there will be refreshments afterwards.
Susan, who has a flat-haired retriever, Sophie, and two cats, Archie and Daisy, said: "Often when people find it difficult to get along with other people they do not struggle with animals. Animals seem to understand how we are feeling and they are often a great source of comfort.
"They are also very good when people are ill or elderly. Stroking them is relaxing which is so beneficial.
"People are so fond of their animals, they are very much a part of living in the country side and this is part of celebrating that."
The service will take place on Sunday at 3pm – see your Grimsby Telegraph for coverage.