Well I’ll be blessed... an alpaca at church

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A church has welcomed all creatures great and small to its first animal blessing.

Around 100 people turned out for the unconventional outdoor service at Little Gaddesden’s St Peter And St Paul Church with their pets, which included everything from dogs and rabbits to horses and alpacas.

Animal blessing ceremony at St Peter and St Paul Church, Little Gaddesden.

Animal blessing ceremony at St Peter and St Paul Church, Little Gaddesden.

Sarah Gall who helped organise the event said it was a huge success, despite hen Lacey breaking the peace by escaping after rustling some feathers in a fight.

Sarah said: “Lacey is normally a very calm hen so it was unusual for her to misbehave, but it was an unusual day. I then had to hold her as I did one of the readings.

“This was the first animal blessing service we have ever done and we will be doing more in future. Most people weren’t part of the congregation, and I think they came along because we all love animals and we connect with them. Animals give us so much, for example we have guide dogs and riding for the disabled, and I think all those things really trigger people deep down.

“It wasn’t a service for people to bring their animals, it was very much an animal service for them to bring their owners.”

The Rev John Russell blessed all the animals in sections, before the day was topped off with a tea party.