CHURCHES in Didcot acted swiftly after three residents, Jan
Jordon, aged 48, her six-year-old daughter, Derin, and her partner,
Phil Howard, aged 44, were found dead from stab wounds at their
home in Vicarage Road, early on Saturday evening.
St Peter's, Didcot, near by, was open for prayer throughout
Sunday and Monday, and there were plans to open it again yesterday,
The churches' response was an ecumenical one, the
Priest-in-Charge of St Peter's, the Revd Hannah Reynolds, said.
"Volunteers from other congregations helped us to keep the church
open. There were always five or six people present to console those
affected by the tragedy."
John Myers, the head teacher at All Saints' C of E Primary
School, where Derin was a pupil, opened the building - officially
closed for half-term - on Monday, so that staff, pupils, and their
parents could share their distress at the tragedy.
Mr Myers said the loss of Derin was "devastating". He described
her as "a beautiful, gentle, and smiley child". A book of
condolence would be opened, he said.
During Monday's opening, pupils lit candles, and a Baptist
minister, the Revd Tim O'Brien, led prayers.
On Tuesday, the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin
Fletcher, and Oxford diocese's director of education, Anne Davey,
both sent messages of sympathy and support to the family and
friends of the victims, and to All Saints' School. "My thoughts and
prayers are with those caught up in this terrible tragedy," Bishop
A police hunt for the murder suspect, Jed Allen, aged 21, who is
Ms Jordon's son and Derin's half-brother, ended on Monday when his
body was found in a wooded area of Oxford where he worked as a
groundsman at the university. It is understood that he was known to
police, and had posted pictures of himself posing with knives on
The triple stabbing is the second murder to affect Didcot in 18
months. In 2013, the body of a teenage girl, Jayden Parkinson,
killed by her boyfriend, was found buried in his uncle's grave in
All Saints' churchyard.
"People here are still affected by that tragedy, and are now
trying to come to terms with another," Miss Reynolds said.
Plans were being considered for an ecumenical service next month
to remember the victims of both tragedies, she said.