Coventry’s Lord Mayor is taking inspiration from TV sitcom The Vicar of Dibley – to hold a Pet Service and celebrate the role our animals play in our lives.

The service will be led by The Rev Stephen Willey at the Methodist Central Hall on Sunday 8 May – and all pets are invited.

It is hoped the church will be full of dogs, cats, lizards, tortoises, hamsters, Guinea Pigs, and all sorts of other two and four-legged friends – or even those without!

It is also hoped that animal charities and organisations will be there on the day.

In the hit TV show, the Vicar, Geraldine Granger – played by Dawn French – decides to hold a service, based on seeing how people loved their pets. She called on local pet owners to bring their pets to the church for a special sermon, thanking God for all living creatures. The service featured the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.

The service was a great success, and now Lord Mayor Cllr John McNicholas, is hoping Coventry pet owners will join the city celebration.

He said: “I always remember that episode of the show, I thought it was just a wonderful idea and one that would appeal to so many of us proud pet owners.“Our pets bring so much to our lives and they deserve to be celebrated.

“They help our physical and mental wellbeing, they are loyal and devoted and it would be fantastic to see the Central Hall packed with pets of all descriptions. It might be a bit chaotic now and then, but it’s a way of saying thank-you to our special animals, and having a great, fun event for our city as well.

“I hope lots of people will join me, and, who knows, maybe this could turn into an annual event.”

The Lord Mayor is a keen supporter of animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, and during his year in office he is helping to raise awareness of the issues, as well as funds. His charities include animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

He also held a Purple Poppy service on Remembrance Day last year to remember those animals lost to conflict and to remind people of the valuable role they play in  the Armed Forces and will be doing so again this year, so your support on Remembrance Sunday afternoon would be welcome.

If you’re interested in learning more about the service, or wish to play a part, contact lord.mayor@coventry.gov.uk

To support the Lord Mayor’s charities, visit the Council website.

Published: Monday, 7th March 2022