By William Lailey and Cally Brooks
That’s Quackers! A couple whose pet duck dresses in a bow tie every day and accompanies them to work have revealed he has a new hobby – going to CHURCH.
Star the duck loves nothing more than waddling along to his local church for a Sunday service – and stunned the congregation when he began quacking along to the Lord’s Prayer.
Now, Star is a regular member of the congregation at St Peters church, along with owners Sue and Barrie Hayman.
The Runner duck – who always dresses in a tie and his Sunday best – perches on a pew alongside Barrie, from Bywell, Northumberland where he listens contentedly to Reverend Moran’s sermons – albeit with a towel underneath him to catch any accidents.
But when the congregation say the Lord’s prayer towards the end of the service, Star comes to life – quacking along happily with the other worshippers.
Vicar of the church, Rev Pat Moran, said: “I was surprised to say the least. Sue and Barrie did ask if they could bring him and I thought it was a bit of an odd request.
“The first Sunday he came, we were all a bit confused but I came round to the idea and now the congregation are very fond of him.
“He sits at the back and doesn’t cause any problems”.
Barrie, who is retired, said: “Star really loves being in church – I think he finds it quite a calming place.
“People were a little surprised when we first turned up, but they are all used to Star now and he’s a valued member of the congregation.
“He really loves saying the Lord’s Prayer, and without fail will quack along as we recite the prayer.
“Maybe it’s the promise of daily bread.”
But Christian worship is not Star’s only unusual habit.
Barrie, 74, and wife Sue, 47, have raised Star in their own home for nearly nine years since he hatched and imprinted on them.
They’ve since taken him to the pub, the shops, and take him on a daily walk with his best pals, Border Collies Drake and mixed-breed Florence.
Sue, who runs an admin business, has even taken Star on business trips, where he was a huge hit with her customers.
She explained: “Star has always been a little bit different to other ducks, from the moment he hatched.
“We used to keep quite a lot of ducks and chickens, but as soon as Star hatched he was not in the slightest bit interested in the other ducks.
“He was obsessed with Barrie, so eventually, he picked him up and carried him around in his shirt pocket, and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
“Star loves playing with our dogs, I think he thinks he is a dog sometimes.
“Barrie will take the dogs and Star down to the beach for a run around and all three of them will chase after a ball.”
Barrie added: “Star comes everywhere with me, he follows me around like a shadow and everyone who meets him loves him.
“A couple of years ago, a friend of mine died, and he was very fond of Star, so I wanted to take him to the funeral.
“I was a bit too afraid to take a duck into the church, so we hung around outside.
“Star really seemed to like being around the church, he really seemed calm.
“I asked the vicar and he agreed, and I realised how much I missed going to church.
“When we moved house, I approached Rev Moran, to ask whether Star would be allowed to come to services.
“Luckily, she agreed, and Star is a favourite among all the congregation.”