It was dog day at St George’s Church Gate Pa today for the animal blessing commemorating the saint day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, merchants and stowaways.
Bill, the deerhound in church. Picture: Daniel Hines.
The one day of the year where animals are invited into church for their blessing, it was the dogs that took advantage at St George’s. Big ones like Bill the Scottish deer hound, and all the colours and shapes down to the small furry toys, but not a cat or a budgie in sight.
The reverend John Hebenton says St Francis has been adopted by most churches. The animal blessing is a reminder that:
“The world in the means by which we love God and God loves us, so we can treat it like that, particularly our animals.”
The day was organised in conjunction with the Tauranga SPCA.