Wagging tails, miaowing and yelps of excitement filled a church as it held a pet service.

St Peter’s, in Rawdon, opened its doors to an assortment of animals including dogs, cats and guinea pigs – accompanied by their owners.

The event was led by the Rev Cayte Norman and included a service of thanksgiving and animal blessing.  Organiser Ros Smith said: “There has been concern churches seem to be silent on the subject of animal welfare. These services express the view that cruelty of any kind is incompatible with Christ’s teachings of love, that love is indivisible and that cruelty towards any sentient creature is a breach of love.  Remembered in prayer were those animals suffering commercial and social exploitation.

“Also remembered were those animals who help humankind  as companions, guide dogs, hearing dogs, animals for disabled people, for crime detection and at times of war.”