Animals blessed at a special church service

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A variety of dogs and a couple of lambs had their day at Tarras Community Church on Sunday when about 30 people and their pets attended the St Francis of Assisi service held in honour of the patron saint of animals.
Upper Clutha Anglican Parish vicar the Ven Damon Plimmer conducted the alfresco service, which ended with an individual blessing of each animal.
It had been held at Tarras for several years and in the past a wide variety of animals, including horses, had been brought along, he said.
A mix of breeds, including Border collies, Labradors, terriers, Australian shepherds and more recent breeds such as Labradoodles, attended Sunday’s ceremony and were on their best churchgoing behaviour.
While dogs socialised with each other or sniffed the grounds for the next available rabbit scent, two 3-week-old lambs, Cocoa and Snowy, brought along by the Annan family, of Tarras, entertained with their escapee antics and bottle-drinking techniques.
Last month, the church was also the venue for another ceremony, the “Blessing of the Stones”, attended by members of the Cardrona and Lowburn curling clubs.
It was held as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the future of the building, which the Upper Clutha Presbyterian Parish owns and plans to sell.