Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hoofprint to History

Donkeys delight church audience
service adds hoofprint to history

By Alistair Beaton

Published: 06/04/2009

THE Auld Kirk of Inverurie added a new hoofprint in church history during yesterday’s Palm Sunday service as a pair of donkeys joined in a procession down the aisle.

Donkeys Jane and Jill pricked up their ears at the sound of the opening 10am hymn, but stepped quietly through the doors of St Andrew’s Church to join the Rev Graeme Longmuir in front of the surprised – but still singing – congregation.

An image of Christ on a donkey had been projected on the wall above and candles shone in the 168-year-old church, as the young donkeys flanked the minister.

The 11-month-old pair barely flicked a tail before afterwards returning through the pews to the west door, the sound of their hooves muffled by carpet rather than Biblical palms.

Mr Longmuir reflected on the meaning and message of Palm Sunday, and church members joined in Hymn 366 – “come to where the crowds will be, see a strange and gentle king, on a donkey travelling”.

Jane and Jill were rewarded outside with a feed and drink, and loaded into a trailer for their journey home.

The donkeys had made their pilgrimage to the church from Braeriach, near Echt. Owner Netta Sangster said: “I thought the music might be worrying Jane and Jill to begin with, but they were no bother.

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I grew up in Chautauqua County, NY. I graduated from Edinboro University of Pennyslvania in 1981 with a BFA in Jewelry and Metalworking. I have been married 31 years. I currently run a small business with my husband. We both enjoy the outdoors and animals a great deal and live on a tiny farm in Western, NY.