CREATURES great and small -many travelling on four legs- made their way to a special service at Worcester Cathedral.

The annual pet blessing ceremony and Hall Green Retired Greyhound Trust parade, which is now in its fourth year, took place on Saturday in the city centre.

More than 100 people took part in the occasion, bringing along their dog, cat, reptiles or even hamster.

Joining the parade were many of the charity’s greyhounds looking for new homes.

During the ceremony, Reverend Canon Georgia Byrne blessed dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, reptiles and spiders.

Speaking at the service, Tracey Parbery, chairman of the Hall Green Retired Greyhound Trust, explained how the event started.

She used to visit the Cloister Café in Worcester Cathedral together with her mother and three greyhounds.

But a year later she discovered the cathedral had stopped allowing dogs into that area.

Mrs Parbery wrote to the cathedral and asked if it would be willing to hold an event once a year dedicated to animals.

She added that every animal should be treated with “compassion” and “love”.

During the ceremony, Reverend Canon Georgia Byrne blessed dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, replies and spiders.

Speaking on the service, Reverend Byrne said: “It gives us an opportunity to give thanks for the pets that bring so much to our lives.”

Cllr Steve Mackay, the Mayor of Worcester, also attended the event where he delivered a speech.

He praised the event and the amount of people in attendance.

He said: “From the numbers here today I can see this is just a smidgen of how much we love our pets.”

Speaking on the event, he said: “It is a nice event lots of people are joining in and I am sure all of them are responsible pet owners.

“It gives the opportunity for us to use the cathedral to promote their wellbeing.”

Freya Pratley, aged eight, brought her pet hamster Stormy to the ceremony.

Speaking during the service on why she loves her pet, she said: “She (Stormy) is always very busy and fun to watch”.

Her mother Hayley said: “We wanted to support the charity and see all the other pets.”

Pet owners put red heart-shaped cards in memory of their dead animals on a prayer tree at the front of the cathedral.

Trust treasurer Glenn Wills said: “I think it is fantastic - It is an amazing event. It is not just about Greyhounds – it is about all animals.”

He added that the event helped the retired greyhounds to get used to being in a normal environment.

There were also prayers, hymns and bible readings during the service.

The charity find loving homes for retired racing greyhounds across the Midlands and further afield.

To donate to the Greyhound trust on

Speaking after the service, Mrs Parbery said: “I was delighted that on beautiful spring day so many pet owners and charities decided to come to Worcester to join us at the Pet Blessing, with people travelling from all over the Country to celebrate the lives of animals that make up our world, and give so much for so little.

“The service was fun, and certainly one to remember.”

The pet blessing service started at 1pm in Worcester Cathedral, whilst the parade began at 12.30pm from Worcester Bridge.