The service will start at 3pm on Sunday 8 October at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh
The Rev Dr Richard Frazer, who will be retiring later this year from his role as the parish minister.
By Jane Bristow
Four-legged friends from across Edinburgh and beyond are being invited to attend the annual pet blessing service this Sunday at Greyfriars, world-famous for its connection to Bobby, a faithful Skye terrier.
As a tribute to the loyal hound, who is also buried in the Kirk yard, members of the Skye terrier club will be joining the proceedings.
Previous years have seen dogs, cats and even miniature ponies coming to the church.
Open to anyone, the date of the pet blessing falls on the first Sunday after the feast of St Francis, who is the patron saint of animals.
Edinburgh Interfaith Association will also be taking part.
Sue MacGregor, who is a probationer minister at Greyfriars and has organised the event, said: “I am delighted to be creating our service which coincides with UNESCO World Animal Day and the Feast of St Francis.
“It will be great to see folk from all walks of life along with their pets – and to welcome interfaith representatives as we celebrate the world’s value and diversity together.”
After the service there will be a parade of the animals around the Kirk yard.
It will be the last pet blessing at Greyfriars to be presided over by Rev Dr Richard Frazer, who will be retiring later this year from his role as the parish minister.
Dr Frazer said: “For many, the presence of animals is one of the great blessings of life, overcoming loneliness, reducing stress, and providing profound companionship.
“Visitors to our church are often drawn to the qualities of love, loyalty, and companionship found in the story of Greyfriars Bobby, which is a lovely thing to celebrate and honour.
“The pet blessing is an opportunity for people to express their gratitude, not just for the pets they have but for the idea that we share life with plants and animals, reminding us of our duty of care to the whole of creation.”
The service will start at 3pm on Sunday 8 October at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh.