PAMPERING TO PETS: The Rev Alan Shaw with Poppy the rag doll cat and Roger the corgi at a previous Blessing of the Pets service at St Andrew's Anglican Church in Lismore.
PAMPERING TO PETS: The Rev Alan Shaw with Poppy the rag doll cat and Roger the corgi at a previous Blessing of the Pets service at St Andrew's Anglican Church in Lismore. Doug Eaton

Pet Blessing: Churches to bless your pets for St Francis Day

TWO Northern Rivers churches will transform into a scene from Noah's ark this weekend, as Northern Rivers animal lovers congregate to have their pets blessed.

Creatures great and small from across the region will be blessed during the special service, with dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and rodents all invited with their carers to St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Zadoc St. Lismore on September Sunday 29 for a special Blessing of the Animals commencing at 9.30am.

Another Blessing of the Pets will be held at Dunoon Anglican Church that day commencing 10am.

"It's a celebration of the natural world and the joy that companion animals bring to our lives," Reverend Alan Shaw said.

The tradition of blessing pets originated from the work of a wealthy 13th aristocrat Francis of Assisi who found a special relationship with God through birds and animals.

Francis gave up his privileged lifestyle to establish an order of monks known as the Franciscans devoted to preserving the environment and treating animals with dignity.

Reverend Shaw said all pets were welcome, but there are some house rules.

"Dogs and their handlers will be located well away from cats and their humans," he said.

"Birds, rats, mice and crawling things should be caged, boxed or at least well-trained! Large animals must be tethered outside and cane toads should wait in the car.

"The Blessing of the Pets is a way to celebrate one's love for companion animals in a relaxed church setting."

  • St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Zadoc St. Lismore on September Sunday 29. 9.30am.
  • Dunoon Anglican Church on September Sunday 29. 10am.


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