Community to hold service for April

Community to hold service for April

April Jones, five, went missing in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on Monday evening (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)

Mark Bridger has been charged with the murder of April Jones

First published in National News © by

A community will come together in prayer at an emotionally charged service in honour of missing April Jones.

Hundreds are expected to bring Machynlleth to a standstill as a mass procession files through the mid Wales town.

Starting from the Bryn-y-Gog estate where the five-year-old schoolgirl's family home stands, the procession is expected to take 45 minutes.

Residents will come together at St Peter's Church, the spiritual centre of the close-knit community. The Bishop of Bangor, the Right Reverend Andrew John, will then lead the service before a saddened audience of hundreds.

Former lifeguard Mark Bridger, 46, was charged on Saturday with the abduction and murder of April. Local man Bridger is also accused of perverting the course of justice and will appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court on Monday.

As residents prepare to say prayers in her name, the five-year-old remains missing despite an intensive, ongoing search.

Exhaustive efforts to find any sign of April continue unabated. News that charges had been brought against Bridger came at a packed press conference in Aberystwyth at the end of four days of police interrogation.

While the decision means police have little expectation of finding April alive, residents in Machynlleth refuse to give up hope.

Sunday's show of mass solidarity is just the latest by the resilient community, which donned pink ribbons earlier this week in symbolic hope that April was still alive. It followed a call from Coral Jones, 40, April's mother, for people to wear ribbons of pink, April's favourite colour.

April, who has cerebral palsy, was playing out late on her bicycle as a treat for a glowing school report when she disappeared on Monday evening.

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