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Prayers have eased pain of April’s loss, says parish priest

07 June 2013

by a staff reporter


In mourning: April's parents, Coral and Paul Jones, after the trial

In mourning: April's parents, Coral and Paul Jones, after the trial

MARK Bridger's conviction for the murder of April Jones, aged five, has brought some closure to the small community of Machynlleth, but "it can never be complete," the Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Andrew John, said.

Mr Bridger, who lived locally, was found guilty last week of the abduction and murder of April. Police evidence showed that he had viewed images of child abuse and rape on his computer, and had dozens of pictures of local girls.

The Priest-in-Charge of St Peter's, Machynlleth, the Revd Kathleen Rogers, has become close to April's parents, Paul and Coral Jones, and chairs April's Fund, which has raised more than £70,000 since April went missing on 1 October.

In a statement on the church website after the sentencing of Mr Bridger to life imprisonment, Mrs Rogers said: "The people of Machynlleth have been through the hardest of times since that terrible night in October when little April went missing and the heart of her family was broken. . .

"The deep sadness, hurt, and anger we are all feeling has been made easier to bear by the love and prayers of so many people from around the world."

Bishop John told Radio 4's Sunday programme: "I think there is a sense of closure, but it can never be complete because, of course, we still don't have April Jones. People are still bewildered and alarmed that somebody of this character lived among them."
Call for internet curb. British MPs and charities, including the Association of Christian Teachers, have urged Google and internet service- providers to clamp down on violent and child pornography after details of April's murder emerged.

The chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, said that the case illustrated the "need to act to remove such content from the internet".
Priest suspended. The Priest-in-Charge of parishes in Seacombe and Poulton, in Chester diocese, the Revd Ian Hughes, was suspended last week after being arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. A spokesman for Chester diocese said that the Bishop, Dr Peter Forster, had suspended Mr Hughes "immediately we knew of his arrest. Full co-operation is now taking place with the police and the authorities."

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