ALL creatures great and small from across East Lancashire flocked to an animal ‘blessing’ service conducted by a church minister.

Pet lovers had been urged to ‘celebrate the lives’ of their favourite cat, dog, guinea pig, ferret, or more exotic companion - as long as the visitors were ‘well-behaved’.

The Rev Graham Sawyer, vicar of St James’ Church, in Briercliffe, Burnley teamed up with members of the Hill Lane Baptist Church yesterday for the unusual ceremony at HAPPA (Horse and Ponies Protection Association) at its base at Shores Hey Farm, off Halifax Road.

Mr Sawyer said: “It was a wonderful service, and was very well attended.

“It’s a good way for people of all ages to give thanks for having the blessing of animals in our lives, and also for the unconditional love that they give us.

“I led the blessing for the animals individually and in groups, and it really was beautiful.

“We are going to try to make it an annual event after the success of this year.”