It was a dog day at St Mark’s Church, Hale, on Sunday, January 24, when the church held a pet service.
The service was a hit with a canine congregation and their owners who came forward to ask a blessing on their animals and also explained why pets are so important to them. The company and calming effects of having a pet were among the reasons given, and some spoke of the realisation that animals were God’s creatures too. One (human) member of the congregation said afterwards:?“It showed that church is about the whole of our lives”.
The dogs remained silent through the hymns, which included ‘All God’s Creatures Got A Place In The Choir’, though there was much panting heard during some of the prayers.
St. George’s Car Park
You might have noticed a few things going on around St. George’s car park recently…. so this is just a bit of an update. Those of you who have been around for a few years, will probably know that the car park has long been an item on a lot of St. George’s PCC and DCC agendas. There has been much heart searching and head scratching, plus a lot of negotiation. We now have planning permission to make our own entrance to the car park. It is hoped this will make it more obvious to people that the car park belongs to the Church. One of the conditions of the planners was that the hedge had to be cut right back and lowered to 3ft tall. As the hedge was a conifer, we were advised that this would have left us with mainly brown branches, so it was decided to remove the whole thing. We discovered the old fence in the middle. It looks a bit odd at the moment but before long, the kerb will be lowered and we can begin to improve the general condition of the car park. We are planning to replace the hedge, this time with something which will not take over the pavement and will be more attractive to wildlife. So, watch this space.
St. George’s Churchyard
I’m not sure if it is technically a Churchyard – I checked the definition and I’m still not sure, but I’m talking about the land to the front of St. George’s. Last summer, we had a bit of a tidy up, but that just raised more issues. There are two circular rose gardens. These have been beautiful in the past, Mr and Mrs Woodlands tended them with lots of love. However, in more recent years they have been neglected and the ground is full of mare’s tails. We also had a tree surgeon look at the trees and it seems the roots are impacted by the paths and hence the dead bits and this is going to get worse. So, it seems this is an ideal time to look at the whole area. Should we try to make it more wildlife friendly? Or more productive? Easier to manage? A resource for the community? What do you think?
If you would like to be involved in the planning, great, please just speak to me or one of the clergy. Or, if you just have strong opinions we would love to hear them. Most of all, if you are prepared to get your hands dirty and help – we will definitely need you. It would be wonderful if this could be something we all do together.
By the way… yes – it is technically a churchyard… Ed