All creatures great and small at service

Hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, cats and rabbits were among the creature's great and small that gathered at the weekend with their owners for a special service.

IPSWICH: Hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, cats and rabbits were among the creature's great and small that gathered at the weekend with their owners for a special service.

Celebrating St Francis of Assisi Day on Sunday over 200 people and their pets joined Rev Andrew Dotchin for the animal blessing at Castle Hill Recreation Ground, off Congreve Road.

More than 100 animals were brought along for the service, including spiders, caterpillars, gerbils and photos of animals that could not make it.

It was like the service made famous in the Vicar of Dibley when Geraldine invited parishioners to bring their pets to church - although churches in rural Suffolk have been holding animal services for 30 years.


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Mr Dotchin said he was overwhelmed by the number of people who came along.

“It was a lovely sunny morning. Everyone was very generous in their donations of pet food and money for the RSPCA.

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“All the animals were very well behaved; St Francis must have been smiling down on the day.”

He said a special thanks to the local Scouts and Guides from Castle Hill and Whitton who helped to organise the day, arranging the event and donations for the RSPCA.

Mr Dotchin said: “We are very thankful to everyone who came along to celebrate caring for our four legged friends.

“And a thank you to everyone who donated to the RSPCA as well as those who also brought along toiletries for the Women's Refuge.”

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