Animals blessed at Abergavenny church service

ALL EARS: Henry the Bassett Hound at the animal service at St Michael’s Church in Llanvihangel Crucorney

PAWS FOR THOUGHT: A Bichon Frise awaits its turn patiently

BLESS THIS STEED: Sian Lloyd, from the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies, holds Sebastian as curate Derek Lee blesses him

Gaynor Mansfield with her beagles Peppa, left, and Dotty

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

TWO guinea pigs, 14 dogs and a Shetland pony made up what must have been one of the most unorthodox congregations in Gwent yesterday.

St Michael’s Church, Llanvihangel Crucorney, near Abergavenny, was the scene of the animal blessings service, where Sebastian, a rescued miniature Shetland pony at the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) in St Maughans, Monmouthshire, processed to the altar to receive his blessing from Rev Derek Young.

Rev Young and his colleague, Rev Derek Lee, then went round the congregation, blessing creatures great and small from lurchers to guinea pigs, with rosemary and holy water.

Rev Young said: “It was a great day which went very well, though there were some quite big dogs.

“There were a few accidents but fortunately they were easy to clear up,” he laughed.

Of his new congregation, Rev Young said “they were behaved, no worse or better than usual.”

There was a serious side to the celebration, though, as the service was held on Animal Welfare Awareness Day, which aims to highlight the plight of abandoned and mistreated animals.

The church has run their animal blessings on this day since 2009 and Rev Young said it had become an important part of the church’s calendar, with the village keen to show its support, and many people coming who wouldn’t usually attend the church.

He said the church would be giving a donation to SWHP.

Comments (3)

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3:06pm Mon 8 Oct 12

schlep says...

In my view this is not what the church should be about. Telling lost souls about the love of Jesus is the churches sole purpose in this day and age. read the news vicar.
In my view this is not what the church should be about. Telling lost souls about the love of Jesus is the churches sole purpose in this day and age. read the news vicar. schlep
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Ian MacKinlay says...

"Rev Young and his colleague, Rev Derek Lee, then went round the congregation, blessing creatures great and small from lurchers to guinea pigs, with rosemary and holy water. "

Completely bonkers.
"Rev Young and his colleague, Rev Derek Lee, then went round the congregation, blessing creatures great and small from lurchers to guinea pigs, with rosemary and holy water. " Completely bonkers. Ian MacKinlay
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

My cat refused to go on account of his political beliefs - he's a Maoist.
My cat refused to go on account of his political beliefs - he's a Maoist. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

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