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Members of SS Henry and Elizabeth Church in Sheerness say goodbye to Father Frank Moran's faithful dog Breeze

By Emma Grove

A congregation is mourning the loss of one of its members – the beloved church dog.

Father Frank Moran’s pet Sea Breeze, or Breeze for short, was a familiar sight at the SS Henry and Elizabeth in Sheerness.

The pair had been inseparable since he got the Breeze in 2002, with Fr Moran’s faithful companion joining him at services at The Broadway church from weddings and baptisms to funerals and masses.

Father Frank Moran with his beloved dog Breeze

They would also visit schools, hospitals, homes and prisons around Sheppey and were always welcomed.

Breeze, a mongrel, was a rescue dog and thought to be between 12 and 13 years old.

When Fr Moran first got his pet, he had a surprise as a litter of puppies followed soon after – some of which were homed on the Island and are still going strong.

Church member Mary Vandyke fondly recalls during annual fundraising walks from St Thomas’s Church at Harty to Sheerness how Breeze was often sponsored more money than her master.

“Breeze was definitely an Island celebrity,” she said.

“She was Father Frank’s devoted and beloved companion and was beside him wherever he went.

“Many of Sheppey’s children knew and remembered her name.

“Father Frank, the parish and indeed all the Island will miss her shaggy black presence – we are all so upset.”

Breeze was suffering from a brain tumour and had to be put down on Thursday, June 26.

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