PETS will be blessed at a special service being held at Wellpark Mid Kirk in Greenock on Sunday (28 November).
Minister the Rev Alan Sorensen says he is hoping to involve as many animals as he can at the 11am event.
He said: “Pet blessings are quite common in other churches, but this is a first for us –- and I will be praying long and hard before the service begins that there will be none of the problems that immediately come to everybody’s mind!
“I’m hoping that our youngsters especially will enjoy the service -– and possibly the mayhem. And, for those who don’t have a live pet, we’ve suggested they bring their favourite animal toy instead.”
The service is part of a programme to encourage members who are perhaps still a little hesitant about returning to worship after lockdown to come back and see that the church is fully open as before and is as covid-safe as can be.
At 3pm there will be a concert featuring local artists to raise money for animal rescue charity The Underheugh Ark.
Mr Sorensen said: “Over the years we have regularly run really wonderful concerts, often as fundraisers for other charities, and this is the first since lockdown.
“Again, we’re hoping that many people will make this the time to re-connect with their church. After all, we are ‘the church in the heart of the town – with the town in our heart’ and our Sunday afternoon concerts have been a great way to show that.”
This Sunday was chosen by the kirk leaders as it marks the start of the season of Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas.
Mr Sorensen said: “One of the enduring parts of the Christmas story, apart from the baby Jesus, is all the animals that we traditionally picture in the stable on that first Christmas.
“So, why not fill this first Sunday in Advent, between the service and the concert, with a celebration of the four-legged and furry friends God has blessed us with? After all, you can’t get a better sermon about love or faithfulness than the one your pet can teach you -– and if I can’t get a sermon out of the work of a wonderful animal rescue charity like Underheugh Ark I really should hand back my dog collar!”