PET lovers will be able to take their beloved animals to a Tyldesley church on Sunday for a blessing inspired by a popular sitcom.

Astley and Tyldesley Methodist Church will be holding the celebratory event at 3pm where people can bring their dogs, smaller pets as well as horses and ponies.

Reverend Sue Whitehead, who served as the minister of the Elliott Street church from 2000 to 2010, organised the event after being inspired by an episode of The Vicar of Dibley, which stars Dawn French.

Rev Whitehead said: "At the church, we are aiming to make more contact with the community and provide more events that will appeal to families.

"I remember watching an animal blessing in the Vicar of Dibley and thought we should try it as well.

"My daughter Imogen told me about one that she went to in Warrington and how popular it was so hopefully we can get a lot going to ours.

"We are stepping into the unknown but I think it's worth taking a chance to see how it goes on the day."

A volunteer from Makants Greyhound Rescue North West on Mort Lane will be at the event to deliver a speech and will be accompanied by one of their dogs.

Residents are welcome to take their dogs with them on leads and keep smaller pets in carriers.

Horses and ponies can be stationed outside.

Refreshments will be available for people and animals.

Everyone is welcome to attend including people without a pet who are encouraged to bring a cuddly toy instead.