Blessed are thy pets...

ALL creatures great and small – including 15 dogs, a cat and a guinea pig – attended the first pet blessing service at St Cyprian's Episcopal Church in Lenzie with their owners earlier this month.

The 30-minute service, the first of its kind in East

Dunbartonshire, raised 100 for the Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals and included hymns, prayers and an individual blessing for each animal.

The Reverend Moira Jamieson, who arranged the service, said: "We had a really good turn-out on the day with 15 dogs, one cat and one guinea pig coming along and a total of 28 people.

"The animals were very well behaved in church and we had the odd bark which helped to swell the singing! As I blessed every pet almost every dog looked up at me and gave me a friendly lick, I really do think they knew where they were."

The ceremony, which tied in with St Cyprian's celebrations of the Festival of St Frances and Animal Welfare Sunday on October 3, was such a success that there are now plans to make it an annual event.

Moira added: "Everyone commented that they enjoyed the service very much and asked if there would be another service next year.

"It looks like the first Saturday in October will be set aside each year for this very worthwhile pet blessing service at St Cyprian's Episcopal Church."