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Bishop and donkeys led procession to Barton Turf 

The Bishop of Norwich, accompanied by two donkeys named Jenny and Charlie, led a crowd of 75 adults and 14 children on a procession from Neatishead to Barton Turf to celebrate Palm Sunday. The event included an all-age communion service at Barton Turf church, led by Bishop Graham. The service included a game of pin the tail on the donkey and emphasized the humility of Christ in choosing to enter Jerusalem on a donkey.

Rev Ben Bradshaw, vicar of the Benefice of St Benedict, expressed his excitement about the event, stating that having the bishop and donkeys present made Palm Sunday a fantastic day for the whole benefice. The children were particularly delighted to meet the donkeys and participate in a competition to see which side of the church could shout “Hosanna” the loudest. He also mentioned that animals are welcome in all the churches across the benefice, and there will be a special pet service on April 28 at Horning church, where attendees can bring their pets or even their favorite teddy bears.

The community event on Palm Sunday brought joy and excitement to the benefice, with the presence of the Bishop of Norwich and the two donkeys adding a special touch to the celebration. The symbolic nature of Christ’s humble entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey was highlighted during the event, creating a meaningful connection to the religious significance of Palm Sunday. Children, in particular, enjoyed interacting with the donkeys and participating in the various activities organized by the church.

Looking ahead, the Benefice of St Benedict is planning to hold a special pet service on April 28 at Horning church, where people can bring their pets to be blessed. This inclusive approach extends to children who do not have pets, as they are encouraged to bring their favorite teddy bears instead. The community’s appreciation for animals and the opportunity to incorporate them into church events reflects a welcoming and inclusive environment that celebrates the presence of all beings in worship and communal gatherings.

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