Bark the Herald Angels Sing

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O Come, All Ye Fur-thful . . .

Cats and dogs descended on a Leyland church at the weekend for its annual Christmas pet service.

St Ambrose Church, Moss Lane, held the event in aid of the Preston and District branch of the RSPCA.

Vicar of St Ambrose, Duncan Clarke, conducted the service on Sunday.

Branch trustee Alicia Russell said: “Around 25 dogs and cats attended with their owners for a lovely animal related church service by Duncan.

Liz Moynihan, trustee, did a short speech about the animal centre and told a story about a dog, Luna, who had been in our care at the centre for a long period of time before finding her forever home.

“After the service there was festive fun in the church hall with refreshments, a raffle, tombola and RSPCA merchandise with all proceeds going to the branch to help the animals in our care.

“The congregation very kindly gave us donations at the end of the service, too.”

She added: “It was a lovely afternoon for all involved and it raised a fantastic £220.35 for the branch which will go directly to caring for the dogs, cats and rabbits in our care with a view to re-homing them to their forever homes.

“We plan to have a Summer pet service at St Ambrose church in May.”

Regarding the centre, Alicia explained: “The RSPCA Preston and District branch is a self-funding separately registered charity.

“Its costs us an average £700 a day to run and whilst we get some funding from the national RSPCA we rely heavily on public donations and the generosity of the community to keep the doors of our animal centre open.

“We receive no Government funding at all. We couldn’t possibly raise all that money ourselves, so we are extremely grateful to our wonderful volunteers and supporters who go out and fund raise on our behalf.”