News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Tails wag at cathedral's dog carol service

by Press Association

Hundreds of dogs of all shapes and sizes gathered with their owners in Christ Church Cathedral for Peata's annual dog carol service.

The church was filled with the sound of barking as the therapy dogs took part in the service, which included Christmas hymns, prayers and even a pet blessing.

The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, invited the dogs and their owners to the altar where he asked God to watch over them all in the year ahead.

The annual service raises much-needed funds for the animal welfare charity, which sends volunteers and their dogs to visit people living at care centres, such as nursing homes and hospitals.


Many of the people who benefit from the visits also attended.

Volunteer Gino O'Reilly attended the service with his two German Leonberger therapy dogs Dexter and Magic.

He described the atmosphere at the service as fantastic and said his two dogs had behaved very well.


Mr O'Reilly has been volunteering for almost a decade, taking his dogs to visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges.

He said they always bring a smile to people's faces.

"It's just fantastic seeing the joy it gives people," Mr O'Reilly said.

"It's definitely rewarding, very rewarding."


He added: "Dogs can sense when people are down more than humans can.

"They just bring a joy to them and it makes them feel relaxed and confident. and you feel very happy yourself seeing the work being done."

He said Peata was a hugely important organisation and that it was looking for more volunteers.


This year's service was in aid of Peata and the Peter McVerry Trust.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.