PETS and their owners came to Worcester Cathedral today for a special ceremony of blessing.

The event at 2pm was held to celebrate the place that pets hold in people’s lives.

Owners were invited to come along, with or without their pets, to join in thanking God for animals, praying for them and their welfare and remembering animals who have died.

There was the the opportunity to write prayers, in memory of a pet and animals who have died, on paper hearts which were then hung on the cathedral’s prayer tree.

The service was led by the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester said “This is an opportunity for people, with their much-loved pets, to come together and give thanks for the joy and companionship that they give to us.”

Among those taking part were the city’s deputy mayor, Cllr Jo Hodges.

One participant was Jonathan Hancock, who brought along Holly, an 11-year-old short-haired sheepdog.

He said: “Our family lost a dog last year, and taking part in this service seems like a good way of remembering the pets that we have loved.”

Debbie Ratcliff was one of a group from Pets as therapy, who brought along their dogs, in this case German shepherd Gunner.

She said: “I take him onto school’s and children’s homes, and the children absolutely love meeting him.”