A partially-sighted man was told he was not allowed to bring his guide dog to his wife’s funeral.

Andy Rae, 79, from Newtown, was “disgusted” to hear he was not allowed to bring his two-year-old German Shepherd guide dog, Mick, to Llanidloes Baptist Church.

Mr Rae’s wife sadly passed away in early August. The family contacted the church to arrange Mrs Rae’s funeral as it was her wish to have her funeral service held by the church’s minister, The Reverend W.O. Meredith Powell.

Mr Rae said that during the funeral arrangements, it was explained that he is partially-sighted and has a guide dog.

According to Mr Rae, the church’s minister refused saying dogs were not allowed in the church and Mick would have to be “chained up to the railings outside” during the service.


The family decided to hold the funeral in another church which was happy to allow Mr Rae to have Mick with him for the service.

“I was disgusted. I was not very impressed. It’s as if he’s dictating the rules himself,” said Mr Rae.

“My wife’s three wishes was to be buried in Llanidloes, have a horse-drawn carriage and have The Rev. W.O. Meredith Powell lead the service.”

Mr Rae claims the reasons that were given were that the minister has asthma and that it was “my church, my rules”.

Mr Rae added: “He said that there’s a ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign outside the church. We went to look for a sign but couldn’t see one.

“I’ve had no problems before and this is the first time I’ve ever heard anything like it.”

The church’s minister refused to comment when asked by the Powys County Times.

Guide Dogs Cymru is a charity which provides guide dogs and other mobility services for people who are blind or partially-sighted.

Andrea Gordon, Engagement Manager for Guide Dogs Cymru, said: “We were disappointed to hear of the family’s experience at such a difficult time, but glad that they were welcomed at another church.

“Places of worship provide a public service and are subject to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

“We have been in contact with the minister who denied the guide dog access, and sent written guidance so that he can comply with the law in future.

“We have invited him to contact us if he would like further clarification.”