The regular congregation looked different at St Michael’s church in Glassenbury Drive and many had waggy tails.
This was the church’s Service of Pet Blessing that brought everyone together with more than 75 people attending with their pets. Tortoises, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and cats were all there but by far the largest number there was made up of dogs.
Fr Stephen Huggins, the vicar, said at one point in the sermon he had to ask all the humans in the congregation to help him to finish his words as the dogs set one another off in a great chorus of happy barking.
He commented: “Everyone was laughing as dog by dog they all joined in.”
The service included a range of songs from well known favourites like All Creatures of our God and King and there was a reading about the animals present at the birth of Jesus, and short talk about what can be learned from this close relationship with the animals.
The collection taken at the service raised over £80 and has been donated to Furry Friends, a locally based charity, which trains pets, particularly rabbits, to improve the lives of others.