Paws for prayer! Tewkesbury Abbey appoints two Labradors as Assistant Vergers

Tewkesbury Abbey has some enthusiastic new Assistant Vergers - two black Labradors called Eric and Florence.

The well-trained hounds will provide a 'meet and greet' when arriving at the Cotswolds' hidden jewel. The dogs are owned by the Head Verger, Chris, and only respond to his commands.

Eric and Florence will also act as therapy dogs: allowing themselves to be petted by young and old alike. When on duty the three can be found roaming the abbey and grounds, often pausing for therapy petting, allowing Chris to extol the virtues of this extremely important 900-year-old historic building.

During services, especially Evensong they lay quietly on their mats in the side aisle unmoved and undisturbed by the movement around them: perhaps captivated by the ethereal ambience of the abbey during this time.

Visitors to the Abbey can see Eric and Flo on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.