60th Service and Blessing for Animals

Sunday 5th of October 2014 was a very special day for Animals’ Voice. The Chairman, Trustees, staff, members and friends celebrated the work of the late Canon William Barnard, a Trustee of Animals’ Voice from 1986 – 2005.

In 1954 Canon Barnard pioneered this unique service and Blessing for animals at St. John the Evangelist Church, Hinton Martel, some 11 years before Animals’ Voice was founded.  It was a further 20 years before Canon Barnard became a Trustee of our organisation, however his involvement in our work in the early years meant that he always welcomed Animals’ Voice into his Church to celebrate and bless our animal friends.

We are proud to be part of and continue this unique service and this year we celebrated 60 wonderful years!  Successors of Canon Barnard at Hinton Martel have continued his work and this year the service and blessing of animals was kindly conducted by Reverend William French.

To celebrate this momentous occasion a special celebratory cake was commissioned by Chairman Betty Price and Trustees of Animals’ Voice.  A visitor’s book was provided for those attending and special thanks go to Christopher Barnard, son of the late Canon William Barnard who played the organ at this years service.

Guest Speaker was Chris Payne of Worldwide Veterinary Services.  He informed the congregation about his work carried out overseas which included vaccinating domestic animals against rabies and this included a neutering programme.  He also spoke of the WVS involvement in providing veterinary medication and equipment in parts of India.

After the service animals were blessed outside the church and they included a variety of breeds of dogs, a pet rabbit, a baby hedgehog, a sheep and even a horse all of whom behaved impeccably throughout the afternoon.

Teas, sandwiches and cakes plus our celebratory cake were served in the hall next door afterwards by Val and staff Jayne and Trustee Pat.  Special thanks from Animals’ Voice most also go to photographer Dennis White who is a member of AV.  He took the photographs (below) during the afternoon and he kindly donated the photographs and his time free of charge!

It was a wonderful afternoon and service celebrating our animal friends and we hope it will continue for another 60 years!