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In pictures: All creatures great and small attend Animal Service at Ely Cathedral





Pets of all shapes and sizes were welcomed to Ely Cathedral last weekend for the annual Animal Service.

Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell

Many animals could be seen in the pews, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and even chickens. Marley the rescue donkey from the donkey sanctuary also made a welcome return visit leading the procession up the cathedral’s grand nave, accompanied by several animal charities and organisations including Pets as Therapy and the Hearing Dogs.

Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell

The Rt Rev Bishop Dagmar, the Bishop of Huntingdon, accompanied by her dogs, led the service. She said: “It was wonderful to experience my first animal service in Ely Cathedral.

“To bless all those present, people and their animals, from a great big horse to a little bearded dragon, and to commit together to care for all our animals and our environment.”

In a first for the animal service, a very well-behaved horse called Thomas made a well-received appearance and the hungry donkey was spotted eating the order of service.

Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ely Cathedral Animal Service. Picture: Keith Heppell

[Read more: In pictures: Henry VIII at Ely Cathedral for living history re-enactment, HRH Princess Anne unveils 13-metre long oak table at Ely Cathedral]

For more than 30 years, the cathedral has hosted this event in aid of local and national animal charities. The family-friendly service and blessing is intended as a celebration of all creatures, great and small, with whom we share the planet.



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