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Hundreds to attend service for April

Created on 07/10/2012 @ 09:04

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a special church service in Machynlleth for missing April Jones.

The special service is being held at St Peter's Church almost a week since the five-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, disappeared while playing near her home in the town.

Mark Bridger, 46, was charged on Saturday with her abduction and murder, and of perverting the course of  and appears before Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court tomorrow, Monday.

The Bishop of Bangor, the Right Reverend Andrew John, will lead the prayers which are open to people of all faiths from all churches in the town of Machynlleth where April lived.

"We have a service planned with hymns, prayers, children's readings," he said.

"It's all designed to understand and make sense of what's happening, give an outlet for anguish, for grief, but at the same time collect people together and provide a focus for continued hope - that's our main aim.

"We are going to use pink. There will be a book of hope, which has prayers and thoughts all for April, that will be processed down the church and placed on the altar. A pink candle, her favourite colour, will be lit."

There have been daily vigils at the church.

"It does give them lots of strength, we hope it does anyway. It's certainly helping us, it's testing our faith isn't it, but it's bringing a lot of people into the church," said Joyce Price, a church warden.

"We were hoping there would be a conclusion today, but there still isn't. We're just hoping and praying hard, and can't imagine what her parents are going through."

Superintendent Ian John, from Dyfed Powys Police, said the search for April would continue unabated.

"Searches will continue throughout Sunday and into next week. If we don't get a result today we'll be coming back throughout the week," he said.

"We've actually been putting plans together to increase the number of police search teams.

"I was speaking to the advisers today who are recording all of the detailed searches that are going on, and we'll have contingencies in place to almost double the number if we need them."

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