ANIMALS in Newton-upon-Rawcliffe and Stape will each receive a blessing at a special pet service taking place on Newton village green on Saturday.

The service has been organised by the congregation of St John’s Church and will be led by Reverend Stephen Gamble, the Vicar of Newton with Stape.

Andrew Orland, one of the organisers of the service, said: “The service will start at 4pm and everyone, human or animal, is very welcome to join us.

“This is the first time we have organised a service like this in Newton, but we wanted to do something different, less formal and fun that would involve the wider community.

“We hope to attract all sorts of creatures, both great and small, that will hopefully all be accompanied by their owners. Being on the village green we can accommodate everything from a tarantula to a shirehorse.” “Each animal will receive an individual blessing and we can thank God for the wonders of creation and the love and pleasure our pets bring us.

Bringing a pet is not a requirement to attend the service, but those who do are asked to ensure they remain responsible for the safety and behaviour of their pets during the service.

Rev Gamble said: “This will be the first time I have led a service like this, but I am really looking forward to it.” It will be a good way to meet those living in the two villages, the surrounding area and hopefully from further afield as well. “I just hope that I do not end up with too many bites and that all my fingers stay intact”.