Shocked churchgoers had to call the RSPCA after stumbling across a snake inside a St Helens church.
The three-foot long North American corn snake was spotted wrapping itself around a radiator at Holy Cross Church at about 2.30pm last Tuesday (July 22).
An RSPCA inspector was immediately deployed to the Corporation Street church after receiving a report that the snake looked like it was “climbing up the wall”.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “The snake had wrapped itself around a radiator inside the church. It was cold but appeared to be uninjured.
“The snake was around three feet long and red and black in colour. It was identified by the RSPCA inspector as a corn snake.
“These snakes originate from North America and are harmless so are often kept as pets.
“Our inspector collected the snake and took it to a vet in Liverpool.”
At this time of year the RSPCA receives more calls regarding snakes escaping due to the soaring temperatures.
Snakes can escape from their homes all year round, but if they do so in winter they typically find somewhere dark and hibernate there until the weather improves.
At this time of year many of the snakes that have survived the cold come out of hibernation and are spotted.
Many of these snakes have pushed against the sliding doors of an unlocked vivarium and successfully opened them so it is very important these doors are kept locked.
Any such holes should be kept to a minimum.
The RSPCA spokeswoman added: “If someone finds a snake they should stay calm, not touch it and call the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999.”
No one from Holy Cross Church was available for comment.