Purr-fect churchgoer

PUBLISHED: 11:17 21 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:44 24 May 2010

WORSHIPPERS at a Portishead church have a new, four-legged member of the congregation. Over the past few months a black cat has been attending services at St Peter's Church, sitting in the pews along with regular churchgoers. The pussy parishioner also of

WORSHIPPERS at a Portishead church have a new, four-legged member of the congregation.Over the past few months a black cat has been attending services at St Peter's Church, sitting in the pews along with regular churchgoers. The pussy parishioner also often sits on worshippers' laps to listen to the service and often is at the front of processions.Rector, The Reverend Alan Taylor, said: "We think the cat belongs to someone in Church Road North or someone in Slade Road, but we don't know its name."It is a regular visitor to the church and often lies down, stretches out its paws and listens to the sermon."It even came to a midnight mass and communion."But the black puss isn't the first feline to take an interest in religious matters in Portishead. Aisha - a tortoiseshell and ginger moggy owned by a local family - was the previous church cat who regularly attended services, weddings and even funerals.Sadly Aisha - a much loved member of the congregation - passed away and is now buried in the church's memorial garden.Rev Taylor added: "Aisha was a regular visitor and was even on the church's membership roll."On one occasion my colleague was conducting a funeral and she jumped right up on his shoulder."She used to make the most of the Sunday services and really enjoyed weddings. It seems as if St Peter's has a real tradition of church cats, but they have to be very special ones to become members of the congregation.

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