A WILDLIFE rescue charity in Fordingbridge held its 57th annual church service, accompanied by lots of dogs, and even a sheep and an owl.

Animals’ Voice Educational and Wildlife Trust welcomed worshippers and their furry, feathered and fleecey friends to the church at Hinton Martell to enjoy a ceremony and animal blessing.

Rev Anne Gee conducted the service accompanied by organist Christopher Barnard, whose father Canon William started the annual animals’ services nearly 60 years ago.

And Iain Trundle from Southern Counties German Shepherd Rescue gave an address about the work his charity does in Linwood.

Charity chairman Betty Price received £45 from the collection and another £74.42 from the teas and cakes offered after the service.

The charity has also been supported recently by a keep fit class run at Whitsbury Village Hall.

Kelly Williams’ exercise group held a sponsored class to the sounds of the sixties, and decided to donate the proceeds to Animals’ Voice.

The group raised £254.50 for the charity, which was presented to Mrs Price at their latest class.

Mrs Price said: “I am so grateful to Kelly Williams’ class for their effort in raising such a spectacular amount, which will help the work of Animals’ Voice enormously.

“It has been a difficult year for everyone, and when our work is reliant on fundraising and the support of individuals it is heartwarming to know that there are people willing to help local animal organisations who are constantly battling to stay afloat.”