September 21 2014 Latest news:

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A Crouch End priest overcame his fear of snakes to bless two constrictors at a church’s first pet blessing.

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Father Bruce Batstone welcomed all creatures great and small into St Mary’s Tower for the unusual ceremony.

Several dogs, a cat, a guinea pig and a hamster were all put forward by their doting owners for the blessing at the church in Hornsey High Street last Sunday (May 27).

But it was the two orange corn sakes, names Mozart and Vivaldi, who provided a shock to the priest.

Father Bruce said: “I am petrified of snakes, but actually feel better for having to be so close to one.”

Speaking about the strong bond between man and beast, he added: “We grow very sad when our pets die and that helps us to know that loss is part of our lives and that God’s presence always remains.”

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