Dogs, cats and owners enjoy Hitchin pet-blessing service

PUBLISHED: 10:07 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:07 03 September 2018

The pets and their owners with Rev Melanie Crowley, wearing orange, at the annual pet-blessing service at St Faith's Church in Hitchin. Picture: Alan Millard

The pets and their owners with Rev Melanie Crowley, wearing orange, at the annual pet-blessing service at St Faith's Church in Hitchin. Picture: Alan Millard

Alan J Millard 15 SG4 0BS

There was an unusual congregation of nine dogs, four cats and their owners during a pet-blessing service in Hitchin yesterday.

The annual blessing of pets service at St Faith’s Church in Walsworth was led by Rev Melanie Crowley.

It included well-known hymns and an individual blessing for each pet and owner.

Past pet-blessing services at St Faith’s have seen birds and even rats brought along.

St Faith’s is not the only North Herts parish church to hold annual blessings for animals.

St Ippolyts Church, in the village of the same name, holds a horse-blessing service each summer – most recently last month.

St Ippolyts vicar Rev Ginni Dear, who started her ministry in the village in 2016, overcame a fear of the animals to lead the service in her first year.

She has since become comfortable enough that she conducted the latest annual blessing while herself on horseback.

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