In heaven, as the saying goes, the lion will lie down with the lamb.

But down here on earth, supernatural levels of tolerance were needed for cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters to settle down during a special church service for pets.

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist, in Old Malden, welcomed the animals, not exactly two by two, and their owners for the service on Sunday.

One of the cats (pictured) was definitely transfixed by a nearby hamster, slightly more than a leap away, but resisted temptation.

Reverend Kevin Scott led the service in the Lady Chapel of the church and blessed the pets, which included eight cats and five dogs, and members of the congregation.

He said: "The reason we did it apart from being a good thing to do was we wanted to affirm to people that God is concerned with the whole.

"Pets generate a huge amount of love and such love comes from God."

To ensure hungry animals did not eye up little mice and to prevent dogs and cats coming to blows Rev Scott asked the 18 adults and eight children who attended to make sure everyone was safe.

He said: "There was no trouble at all. It was lovely."

Rev Scott has run the pet service before and said given its success he would definitely hold it again.