Tears and silence as April is laid to rest
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."