Ripley church is this weekend inviting owners and their animals to a one-off pet service, believed to be the only one of its kind in the region.
Animals of all shapes and sizes are welcome on Sunday, where they will be blessed and the prayer of St Francis, the patron saint of animals, will be read.
Church warden Mary Rushton plans to take her Labrador Lily and Jack Russell Hettie to the service.
Mary said: “It is a very popular service, and we try to run it on alternate years.
“I don’t know of another service like it in the area. People come from far and wide.
“We gather in the square outside the Boar’s Head, each person has a simple service sheet, and we sing a couple of hymns.”
The service will be moved into the historic church, should it be raining.
Mary continued: “We encourage people to bring any pet.
“If it’s raining we will go inside, animals and all.
“Tina McGrath will take the service.
A couple of years ago there was a pony, and the vicar could ride, so he took the service on the pony!”
Pets and owners should meet outside the Boar’s Head by 10.45am on Sunday.
Free refreshments will be served after the service.
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