‘All Things Bright and Dogiful’ - Noah’s Ark service in Lessingham

Shelley Smith, from Faith Charity, her daughter Tabitha, son Wesley and husband Scott. Picture: Maur

Shelley Smith, from Faith Charity, her daughter Tabitha, son Wesley and husband Scott. Picture: Maurice Gray - Credit: Archant

A 15th century church hosted an unusual event when a congregation filled the aisles with their four-legged friends.

The All Saints Church at Lessingham, near Stalham, hidden away in corner of a field, welcomed pet owners to a thanksgiving and ended up with a 'barking full house', conducted by the Revd Catherine Dobson.

Mainly dogs took up the invitation and pulled and tugged to introduce their varying sizes and charms to each other. Some light disagreements were settled down while the organist played appropriate, soft music before the service began. There was a slight delay, however, due to the canine minders finding comfortable seating between their pets.

The Revd Dobson, who is rector of the Coastal Group of nine parishes, said, 'It is wonderful that our canine friends took the time to come to our church with their owners'. She added, 'The service was great fun with a lovely atmosphere to enjoy one another's company.'

During the service Shelley Smith, manager of Faith Animal Rescue, based at Hickling, gave a talk about her work and the benefits and love of having pets.

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The service raised £200 which will be shared between Faith Animal Rescue and Lessingham Church Funds.

After the service, homemade cakes and refreshments were available for the congregation and their pets. The rector expressed her thanks to the congregation, together with Margaret Henderson, churchwarden, and John Prince, reader, for gathering the local community and friends together to create such a wonderful event.

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