ALL creatures great and small - including a Shetland pony - were blessed in Aireborough last week.

An Animal Blessing service was held at St Peter’s Church, Rawdon on Sunday, June 23. The assembled pets were blessed by the Bishop of Kirkstall, The Right Reverend Paul Slater, while the event was led by Reverend Mark Smith.

Ros Smith, Co-ordinator of event organisers Animal Christian Concern, said: “The service also focussed on growing concern for the plight of animals, not only on the welfare of pets but also on wider issues of animal suffering in factory farms, vivisection labs, fur farms, entertainment and so on. Many people long for the church to actively demonstrate its concern as God gave us dominion not to abuse His creatures but to love and care for them.”

Also remembered in prayer were those animals who help humans as companions, guide dogs, hearing dogs, while fighting crime or during times of war.