[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 4 October, 2003, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Church holds pet blessing
Christopher Gower, chaplain to the Lord Mayor, with Dusty the Hamster
The blessings are to mark the day of the patron saint of pets
Animals including cats, dogs and even a pet iguana were blessed by a vicar at a special church service.

Saturday's unusual event at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Sedgley, Dudley, West Midlands, marked the day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of pets.

Reverend Elizabeth Smith said the service, which began at 1500 BST, was the second at the church, following last year's blessing of 30 pets.

Ms Smith said: "We even had an iguana last time. We also had a pair of snails. I encourage people with all types of pets to turn up."

Ms Smith, who has two cats of her own, said pets were an increasingly important part of peoples' lives and the Church should try to reflect this.

"One of the problems we have in the Church is that we are often seen as out of touch.

"People feel very strongly about animals and pets, so I feel this is an important occasion for them."

Pet blessing excites Madrid
17 Jan 01  |  Europe


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific