‘I hadn’t been in contact with them before’ – new vicar of St Ippolyts Church overcomes fear to hold special horse blessing service
- Credit: Archant
The new vicar of St Ippolyts overcame a fear of horses to bless 14 of the animals in a special service on Sunday afternoon.
Rev Ginni Dear – who started her ministry in the village two weeks ago – led about three dozen people in the service, and laid her hand on each of the horses to bless them.
“The wardens did laugh when I told them I was scared of horses,” the vicar said.
“I hadn’t been in contact with them before. I’m pleased I did it. It’s been really nice and I thank them for helping me conquer my fear.”
Most of the horses came from Courtlands Riding Stables near Little Wymondley. A collection was made for the Riding for the Disabled Association, with which Courtlands does much work.
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The short service included a reading from Psalm 36, containing the words: ‘You save humans and animals alike, O Lord’.
St Ippolyts’ link to horses comes from the belief that the martyr St Hippolytus – to whom the parish church is dedicated – was dragged to death by the animals. He is the patron saint of horses, and sick horses are said to have been blessed at St Ippolyts in the Middle Ages.
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Horse blessing services have been held there annually for the past four years, as close as possible to St Hippolytus’ feast day on August 13.