Saturday 29 August 2015

Tears and silence as April is laid to rest

Ellen Branagh, Antony Stone and Benjamin Wright

Published 27/09/2013 | 05:00

The coffin of April Jones is carried by a horse-drawn carriage following her funeral service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth
The coffin of April Jones is carried by a horse-drawn carriage following her funeral service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth
Mourners attend the funeral service of April Jones at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth, Wales
The coffin of April Jones is carried from St Peter's Church after her funeral service in Machynlleth
The coffin of April Jones is carried from St Peter's Church after her funeral service in Machynlleth
Mourners stand outside during the funeral service of April Jones at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones, and her brother Harley, inside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, during her funeral service
The coffin of April Jones inside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, during her funeral service
The coffin of April Jones inside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, during her funeral service
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones arrive at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones and her brother Harley, arrive at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
The family of April Jones and mourners follow her coffin out of St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, after her funeral service.
The family of April Jones and mourners follow her coffin out of St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, after her funeral service.
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
The coffin of April Jones inside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, during her funeral service
The coffin of April Jones inside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, during her funeral service.
The coffin of April Jones is carried by a horse-drawn carriage from her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate to St Peter's Church in Machynlleth, Wales September 26, 2013.
The coffin of April Jones is carried into St Peter's Church in Machynlleth, Wales September 26, 2013
Floral tributes for April Jones outside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service
Floral tributes for April Jones outside St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones arrive at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones arrive at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones, follow her coffin as it arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones and her brother Harley, arrive at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
REISSUED WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones and her brother Harley, arrive at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
The coffin of April Jones is carried by family members into St Peter's Church in Machynlleth, Wales September 26, 2013.
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
The coffin of April Jones arrives at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, ahead of her funeral service.
Hundreds of mourners are expected to join April Jones' devastated family to pay an emotional farewell to the murdered schoolgirl at a funeral service.
The former home of paedophile Mark Bridger in Ceinws, Mid Wales on the day of the funeral of five year old April Jones. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 26, 2013.
The scene at the Bryn-y-Gog estate, where the parents of April Jones live, in the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth, before the funeral of the five year old.
Candles, prayer cards and the Order of Service at St Peter's Church before the funeral service of five year old April Jones in the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth.
The scene at the Bryn-y-Gog estate, where the parents of April Jones live, in the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth, before the funeral of the five year old.
The scene at the Bryn-y-Gog estate, where the parents of April Jones live, in the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth, before the funeral of the five year old.
The Order of Service at St Peter's Church before the funeral service of five year old April Jones in the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth.
The scene at the Bryn-y-Gog estate, where the parents of April Jones live, in the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth, before the funeral of the five year old.

The family of April Jones said a final farewell as the town that shared their grief came to a standstill.

As the tiny white coffin carrying her remains was borne through the streets of Machynlleth in a white horse-drawn hearse, townsfolk stood in silence or followed behind, all wearing pink in tribute to the schoolgirl.

Mourners held each other for support as the coffin was carried into St Peter's Church yesterday, where the Rev Kathleen Rogers said: "We know that there are no words we can say at this moment to express what we are feeling.

"No words can alleviate our sorrow or take away our pain."

April's parents Paul and Coral and siblings Jazmin and Harley stood at the front of the church for the moving service.

Ms Rogers told the congregation: "We have come together to remember April in the presence of God. We have come to celebrate her short life and grieve together, to say goodbye.

"It's a bittersweet moment. Our hopes and dreams have changed because April has been taken from us.

"But you know, we come also with a sense of thanksgiving for the many ways that April touched our lives and those with whom she came into contact.

"For a five-year-old, she touched a great many lives . . . for Paul, Coral, Jazmin and Harley, April was and is extra special. But she touched us all.

"Today, here in this place, she is linking us all together in grief. Yet, grief goes hand in hand with love.

"In whatever way we express our grief, it shows our love for April. And surely that is the most important thing for any human being of whatever age, simply to be loved."

Irish Independent

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