Church Thanksgiving for animals on World Animal Day in aid of IAR
A special service on 5 October will bless a congregation of animals and support animal rescue projects around the world. It promises to be a fun, festive occasion, with an orchestra playing in the beautiful outdoor setting of Buxted Park in East Sussex.
Reverend John Challis has been conducting the special service at the church for the past four years and describes it as a very social occasion: "We normally have a congregation of about 60 dogs, as well as cats, ducks, chickens, one or two donkeys and horses, and even the occasional pig. The service is fairly short - to cater to the animals' attention span - and is followed by refreshments for all. In the past we've been very lucky with the weather and I have taken the service outside which enables everyone to mingle and get to know each other. There is always a very friendly relaxed atmosphere with some of us telling animal jokes, though not at the animals' expense of course! It is a memorable and fun way to celebrate World Animal Day."
The collection after the service this year is in aid of International Animal Rescue whose main project is the rescue and rehabilitation of dancing bears in India. Representatives from the charity will be attending the service and telling the congregation about IAR's work.
Carrie Colliss, IAR's Development Director, says the charity jumped at the chance to be involved. "This will be an opportunity for us to give thanks for the beautiful animals who share our lives and also for the many people who enable us to rescue and rehabilitate animals that are suffering. At International Animal Rescue we are immensely grateful to the generous people and the various groups that support us: we couldn't do our work without them."
The service at the church promises to be a very special celebration, bringing together scores of animals and animal lovers.
For further information, to arrange interviews and photos, contact Lis Key at International Animal Rescue, on 01825 767688/ mobile 07957 824379.