IT’S not often that the most popular column in a parish magazine is written by animals rather than actual people.
However, that was the case at our church, Holy Trinity in Gosport.
Instead, for almost 10 years, two miniature dachshunds, Sasha and Mollie, were putting pen to paper each month.
Their contributions to Trinity Times lasted for 10 years, and they were able to offer a wry take on church life.
The dogs were Christine Harris’s pets, and they started coming to church for the first time all the way back in 2005.
Sasha had just had an operation and Christine didn’t want to leave her at home for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass – so the dogs came along as well.
They behaved so well that they became a regular fixture at the church, lying at Christine’s feet as worshippers gathered in a circle for Communion.
Sasha started writing the regular column for the magazine back in May 2006, and it was incredibly popular with the congregation.
Mollie did the occasional column when Sasha became frail and took over completely when Sasha died in 2008.
The columns were full of comments about the ‘Uprights’, as humans were called, and the strange things they do in church.
Mollie became a fixture, not just at mass, but at PCC and deanery synod meetings, concerts and services elsewhere.
She had her own kneeler in church and received a blessing from me, or whoever was leading the service each week.
After Mollie died in April 2016, just short of her 17th birthday, Christine decided to collate a selection of columns into one volume.
Therefore, our new book, titled Mollie’s Tailpiece, has now been published with the help of fellow worshipper Amanda Field.
For me, it’s quite an interesting history of what’s happened at Holy Trinity over the past 10 years. But even if you know nothing about church, there’s much to chuckle at within its pages.
You can buy the book at our church, priced at £5.99.
A contribution of £1 is made from the sale of each copy to the organ fabric fund at our church.
I am exceptionally grateful to all those involved for creating this slice of modern Gosport history – including the much-loved Sasha and Mollie.
For more information about what we get up to at Holy Trinity Church, you can visit our website holytrinitygosport.co.uk.