BLESSED: Geoff Farmer, Rev. Julie Simpson, Rev. Barbara Diery, Rev. Kaye Pitman and Joel Farmer with Rocky at the blessing of the pets at St Mark’s Anglican Church.
BLESSED: Geoff Farmer, Rev. Julie Simpson, Rev. Barbara Diery, Rev. Kaye Pitman and Joel Farmer with Rocky at the blessing of the pets at St Mark’s Anglican Church. Gerard Walsh

Pets and their owners line up for a blessing at St Mark’s

JOEL Farmer took the family dog Rocky for a pet blessing at St Mark's Anglican Church for a second time yesterday.

There were 20 dogs blessed during the annual ceremony with Rev Julie Simpson, Rev Barbara Diery and Rev Kaye Pitman each blessing a small number of dogs.

"Rocky is two and a half years old, it was good to have him blessed again," Joel said.

Rev Diery said quite a few visitors came to the blessing of the pets ceremony.

The ceremony to bless each dog was undertaken on top of a special altar which belonged to Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie who was the first Anglican clergy on the Darling Downs.

"He would take the portable altar on his horse and cart to conduct services all around the countryside," Rev Pitman said.

The blessing of the pets was done yesterday to co-ordinate with the feast day of St Francis of Assisi.

"St Francis was an animal lover," Rev Simpson said.

The day is held in many places around the date of the feast day of St Francis.

After the blessing yesterday, many of the people who were at the regular service and the blessing joined in a cup of tea in the church grounds.

Susan Stevens brought along Benji, a dog she adopted from Stanthorpe after there was an advertisement looking for a home. "I fostered him for a week and he fitted in with the other dogs," she said.


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