Ely Cathedral is known aﬀectionately as ‘The Ship of the Fens’, but this Sunday it will once again be transformed into a modern day Noah’s Ark, as hundreds of animals will be welcomed to the annual ‘Animal Service’.
For the past 28 years, Ely Cathedral has hosted an annual Celebration Service in aid of local and national animal charities. Cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs and alpaca’s come along, not forgetting Daisy the Donkey, (and her friends from the Donkey Sanctuary), who is a regular participant in Cathedral worship at Easter and Christmas.
This year in particular will focus on the Donkey Sanctuary and the work they do to improve the welfare of animals worldwide. As part of the service Canon Vicky will be interviewing one of their donkeys with the help of one of the volunteers at the charity ! “The most amazing thing about this service is the number of people who come to worship with their pets, who might not normally come through the great west doors. Everyone is welcome as the church cares and respects all God’s creatures, great and small. It also says something profound about the Christian faith to those who are perhaps unfamiliar with church. There are some who think such services are just a ‘gimmick’, but at Ely the annual Animal Service is a vital part of our mission and outreach strategy and a means of reaching out to the local community”.
This very special service, which has been featured on BBC’s Songs of Praise, takes place at Ely Cathedral next Sunday, 24th September at 2.00pm. This short service and blessing is taken by Canon Vicky Johnson with the help of Percy, her black Labradoodle. (pictured). All proceeds will benefit local animal charities including Wood Green, The Donkey Sanctuary, Guide Dogs and K9.
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