Sunday saw a first for St Barnabas Church in Queens’s Square, Adeyfield – a pet service at which four-legged friends were welcome to join the flock.
It was a sunshine celebration, and the church’s annual outdoor service featured a congregation that included several dogs, a cat and five guinea pigs.
The church’s Helen Fellows said: “Everyone thanked the Lord for the animals, to the tune of Old MacDonald Had A Farm among other songs, finishing with more traditional words of the hymn The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”
The vicar, the Rev Richard Graham, reflected on the vital role animals play in all our lives, whether it is helping people to see or hear, as companions or in agriculture.
He asked owners what their pets meant to them, and for most they bring joy and fun as well as providing solace for some.
Once the pets had received a blessing and retired for a rest everyone was invited to enjoy free barbecued meats, salads, ice lollies and fruit. A bouncy castle entertained the children.