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Horse trots down the aisle to receive church blessing

Olly, a 25-year-old Belgian Warmblood, was brought into Garthdee Parish Church on Sunday.

A horse has received a blessing during a ceremony in an Aberdeen church.

Olly, a 25-year-old Belgian Warmblood, attended the special service Garthdee Parish Church on Sunday.

The horse was taken into the church, which is due to close, by its owner Lisa Watt and was blessed by Rev Dr Flora Munro.

Lisa decided to get Olly blessed after seeing a similar ceremony take place in the US where the blessing of animals is a long-held Christian tradition.

She said: "I heard about small animals getting blessed in churches, and he is getting older and Garthdee Church is my family church so I wanted him to be blessed there.

"And Garthdee doesn't have a big future ahead of it, it is due for closure.

"He is getting older, he is blind in one eye, he's got a squint pelvis, not got the best set of teeth, so I wanted to get it done before it was too late for both of us.

"I hired a lorry to take him down there, he hasn't travelled for 11 years but he walked on to the lorry perfectly and travelled perfect.

"He was a good boy.

'It is comforting to know that Olly has been blessed as I know now that he is secure.'
Lisa Watt

"We got to the church and the minister sang one hymn and then we came in and he got blessed, she blessed me as well, then we exited on another hymn.

"I was mesmerised by the surroundings so I was in shock during it but everyone was quite teary and stuff.

"For smaller animals it is quite common, for bigger ones not really but I think animals are spiritual anyway and I think it is important to get in touch with our spiritual side.

"It is comforting to know that Olly has been blessed as I know now that he is secure.

"He took it all in his stride yesterday but I think he is getting a bit fed up by it all now."

Pets are most commonly let to churches on October 4, the feast day of the Patron Saint of Animals, Saint Francis of Assisi, for a special ceremony known as the "Blessing of the Animals".

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