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WATCH: Inverness Cathedral invites animal lovers to bring their four-legged friends to blessing service

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Pets attended a special service for just them and their owners at Inverness Cathedral.

Animal lovers from Inverness and beyond were invited to take their pets to the city's cathedral on Sunday.

The cathedral – which is famous for being rich in history and heritage – holds an annual pet blessing and remembrance service on the first Sunday after the feast of St Francis, who is the patron saint of animals.

Despite the dreadful weather conditions, over a dozen dogs, two guinea pigs, two cats and a ferret received a blessing during the service which celebrated St Francis, and around 40 people attended.

A dog named Hope joined the service
A dog named Hope joined the service

Provost Sarah Murray led the service alongside Laura who is a third year student training for ministry and Deacon Katrina.

Deacon Katrina O'Neill said: "We hold the short Pet Service to celebrate the joy that animals bring to us and to also remember St Francis who regarded all of the creation and animals as important.

"A message that in our current times with climate change is so important for us all to remember, as we strive to care and protect the earth from further damage."

She continued: "Animals play such important part of so many peoples lives. The joy of pets, amazing working and assistance animals, livestock in the fields and the beauty and wonder of the wildlife around us."

As well as pet owners, members of dog and ferret rescue organisations joined the event wearing their uniform as they raised awareness for animals suffering abuse and in need of a good home.

The owner of Fyrish Ferret Rescue said: "I have 14 ferrets, but I didn't think bringing all of them along would have been appropriate, so Monty came along to represent all of them!"

Pets attend animal blessing service at Inverness Cathedral
Pets attend animal blessing service at Inverness Cathedral

The service raised £48 which will be donated to the local charity Munlochy Animal Aid where they provide rescue and treatment services for animals across Inverness.

For those who couldn't attend the service sent an image of their pet to the cathedral which allowed them to be blessed virtually.

The service also remembered the dozens of pets people had loved and lost throughout the year, with a long list of names that was read out and commemorated with a minute silence.

In regards to the turnout of the service, Provost Sarah said: “It was a great turnout and a much appreciated service and opportunity to gather for our annual Pet Blessing Service.”

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