All creatures great and small ‘invade’ Ely Cathedral - and the singing was quite good too as BBC record Songs of Praise

Pet service Ely Cathedral 2015

Pet service Ely Cathedral 2015 - Credit: Archant

He’s become synonymous with the programme’s he’s hosted for some years, but even Aled Jones must have wondered what he’d got into at Ely Cathedral.

Pet service Ely Cathedral 2015

Pet service Ely Cathedral 2015 - Credit: Archant

For as well as overseeing congregational singing, he found himself surrounded by pets of all shapes and sizes as part of the annual pet service too.

But for the cathedral it was deemed a brilliant success.

“All creatures great and small - this year’s pet service at the cathedral was a great success,” said a cathedral spokesman on their Facebook page.

And to prove the point they published a gallery of photos from the day’s recording.


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“BBC’s Songs of Praise was there to film all creatures furry and not so furry,” said the spokesman.

“ The donkey led the way down the aisle - there was Freda the tortoise, Jack the ferret, guinea pigs and hamsters, dogs galore, a large tabby and other felines, and pets both wooden and stuffed joined the celebration, giving thanks to God for all that our animals mean to us.”

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The most touching story came from Claire Wallace of Gamlingay who burst a blood vessel 6 years and has all but lost her sight despite a major operation. At Christmas in 2013 she was introduced to Blaze, the guide dog that has now helped put her family life back on track as Claire felt like a burden to her husband and all the assistance he had to offer.

A retiring collection was offered on behalf of Wood Green, K9 Project, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Donkey Sanctuary.

Liz Wright, who took her donkey to the service, said: “What an honour to be at Songs of Praise Ely Cathedral Pet Service.

“Daisy the donkey was a real star, I have such respect for her - she is so confident and nothing fazes her at all - mild interest is her usual reaction.

“There will never ever be another one like her. We shall both be appearing on the October 4 Songs of Praise BBC 1 which is exciting.”

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