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Formby vigil for missing Maddie

Show of support organised by friends in family home town

Published on May 9th 2007.


Formby vigil for missing Maddie

Huyton-born Kate McCann is a private lady. A fairly ordinary working mother who cannot believe she is at the centre of world attention. But, for the awful reasons documented elsewhere, that's where she and her young family are sadly placed at the moment.

And while the glare of the media on personal lives is frequently an unwelcome one, the McCann family are nevertheless keen to have that beacon trained on them for as long as possible. Why? They must keep their missing daughter's face at the top of the news.

And so we were contacted today by Mark McQueen, a close friend, with his wife, Linda, of Maddie McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry.

Mark, headmaster at Ursuline Primary School in Blundellsands, and godparent to Maddie's younger twin brother Sean, is organising a vigil and service tomorrow night (Thursday 10th) at Our Lady of Compassion in Formby. Liverpool Catholic Archbishop Patrick Kelly will be attending and Mark asks that we tell people it is happening.

“Kate and Gerry took great comfort from a vigil back in the village where they live, Rothley (in Leicestershire) the other night,” says Mark. “Kate's Uncle Jack and Aunty Val live in Formby and the family are frequent visitors with their three children, so we felt that it was an appropriate place for people to come and think about Maddie and to pray for her.

“We are not fools,” he added. “It is an impossible job, but we must try to improve Kate and Gerry's spirits as much as is possible and we hope that they will take some consolation from this service.”

Mark said that as far as the family were aware – Kate's mother and father live in Mossley Hill - there were no new developments in locating the three-year-old who was abducted last week from a hotel bedroom in Portugal.

“We are sharing her parents agony,” he said. “We know Maddie very well. She is an adorable, glorious and funny three-year-old.”

Mark added that all denominations or non-religious people were welcome to come to the service, to be conducted by Father Paul Seddon, who married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine, at 7.30pm.

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