Watch adorable pets receive a blessing at special Sunderland Minster service
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The city church held its first pet blessing service on Saturday, October 19, in a bid to thank God for his role in creation and show their appreciation for the important role they play in our lives.
The service led by Jacqui Tyson, associate priest at Sunderland Minster, saw more than a dozen pet owners and their animals turned up to receive a blessing.
Although all pets were welcome at the service, the ones that attended were all dogs.
Jaqui said: “This is the first pet blessing we have done and we hope it will become and annual event.
“The idea is to bless the pets and thank God for his tole in Creation and to recognise how important animals are.
“I was a pet owner before I was a Christian, a parent and a priest.
“Animals have always been a part of our lives.
“The service is part of a bigger initiative to encourage people to own the Minster as it is the city’s church – which I think people don’t realise – but services like this help to get that message across.
“It has been lovely, we are talking about God, Creation and how the way that people look after pets is a good model for people having better care for the world.”
The service featured hymns, prayers and readings about Creation and pets.
Each animal involved then took a turn to be blessed at the front of the church.
Among those at the service was Carol Foster from Tunstall, who was there with six-year-old German Shepherd Aaron.
She said: “This is the first time I have come to something like this but I am Christian and I think that all pets are God's gift to us.
“They are compassionate, they guard us and they give us unconditional love.”
Fellow owner Judith Howes, was there with her 10-year-old black Labrador called Cassie.
She said: “It’s always nice to do something like this for our pets to thank them for what they do for us.”