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United through loss: Parents of Madeleine McCann and Claudia Lawrence meet for York vigil

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
Original Source: MAIL: SUNDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2011
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:02 PM on 27th February 2011
 

ORIGINAL

The parents of missing Claudia Lawrence and Madeleine McCann met for the first time today to hold a special vigil for their missing daughters.

Peter Lawrence and Kate McCann united to say prayers of hope for the pair at York Minster, North Yorkshire, along with Archbishop John Sentamu.

Both parents said it had been a huge help for them to meet someone else going through the same pain that they have endured and lit candles for their absent loved ones.

Vigil: Peter Lawrence, father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence, and Madeleine McCann's mother Kate met with Dr John Sentamu for a service at York Minster


The event also marked the day of Claudia Lawrence's 37th birthday. The chef has been missing since March 2009 and North Yorkshire Police have since launched a murder probe.

Maddie captured the nation's attention after she went missing while on holiday with parents Kate and Gerry in Portugal in 2007.



Mrs McCann, dressed in a dark coat, with a red scarf, a black knee-length skirt and black boots, said: 'It is nice to spend some time with some people who are in the same position as you.

'Our daughters are different ages and the circumstances are very different but we share the same pain and fear and hope.

'Today is actually the first time I have met Peter, I have been in touch with his wife. It is nice to be able to support each other because it is one of those things that, unless you have been in that situation it is very difficult to understand.

'The Archbishop John Sentamu has also been very supportive. He has never forgotten us.'

Missing: The parents of Madeleine McCann (left) and Claudia Lawrence (right) said prayers for their absent loved ones at York Cathedral today


Mr Lawrence, 64, and Mrs McCann, 42, met in the centre of York this afternoon before slowly making their way to the grandiose York Minster. Sadly neither Joan Lawrence or
Gerry McCann could make the vigil.

They marched along with family and friends, holding a loft a placard with Claudia's picture on and the question 'Where are you''

Prior to the vigil, Mr Lawrence said: 'Everything we have done for the past couple of years has been aimed at keeping the fact that Claudia is missing at the front of people's minds. Everything we can do we are trying.

'Today is obviously a special day because it is Claudia's birthday. It is not just for Claudia, we have organised it for other missing people too. Today is difficult, just like Christmas was but on every occasion we have to make the fact that Claudia is missing apparent.

'Kate got in touch when she heard that we were having this event and she said that she wanted to come along. It is nice to raise awareness for both of our daughters and for the families to come together.'

Remembrance: Kate McCann lights a candle at York Minster for her missing daughter Madeleine


Mr Lawrence also confirmed that he intends to address a number of MPs at parliament later this week in relation to the control families have over missing people's financial affairs.

Claudia Lawrence's best friend, Suzy Cooper, also attended the vigil and prior to it said: 'It has been really difficult with today being her birthday and Claudia particularly enjoyed going out on Sundays so she would have been really pleased her birthday was on one today.

'We haven't made any specific plans for her birthday but I think we will have a drink, a meal and a toast to Claudia.'

The group then made their way to York Minster where they were met by Archbishop of York Sentamu and Dean of York Keith Jones.

After the group had made their way inside the stunning building, Archbishop Sentamu addressed the congregation of 50 people, saying: 'We are having a vigil on the 37th birthday of Claudia Lawrence.

'We must keep ourselves remembering that she is still missing. Someone out there knows where she is and in my prayers I hope they will have the courage to come forward.

'It is great that we also have Kate McCann here, Maddie McCann's mother. As you know in this minster, I pray for both her and for Claudia regularly.'

Mrs McCann and Mr Lawrence were then presented with a blue candle each, as a symbol of the Virgin Mary and the joy and pain of motherhood, before a number of prayers were said for Maddie, Ms Lawrence and other missing people.

The parents of Ms Lawrence and Maddie then sat side by side, along with Archbishop Sentamu, with the Minster's great window in the background, and quietly said prayers for their missing daughters. 

 

UPDATED VERSION

United through loss: Parents of Madeleine McCann and Claudia Lawrence meet for York vigil

MAIL: SUNDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2011
By James Tozer Last updated at 8:29 PM on 27th February 2011

 
Both have endured unimaginable heartache as the fate of their daughters remains a mystery.

And for the first time yesterday, Kate McCann, mother of Madeleine, and the father of Claudia Lawrence met at a vigil for the missing chef.

On what would have been Miss Lawrence's 37th birthday, her father Peter sat with Mrs McCann as 50 friends and family gathered at York Minster, along with Archbishop John Sentamu, to pray for the safe return of their children.

Remembrance: Kate McCann lights a candle at York Minster for her missing daughter Madeleine

Dressed in a black skirt and coat and red scarf, 42-year-old Mrs McCann lit a candle for Madeleine, who vanished aged three in 2007, and spoke of drawing support from meeting someone who knows the pain her family feel.

'It is nice to spend time with people who are in the same position,' she said. 'The circumstances are very different, but we share the same pain and fear and hope.

'Our daughters are different ages and the circumstances are very different but we share the same pain and fear and hope


'Today is actually the first time I have met Peter, I have been in touch with his wife. It is nice to be able to support each other because it is one of those things that, unless you have been in that situation it is very difficult to understand.

'The Archbishop John Sentamu has also been very supportive. He has never forgotten us.'

Miss Lawrence has been missing since March 2009.

Her 64-year-old father said: 'Today is difficult, just like Christmas, but we have to make the fact that Claudia is missing apparent.'

Missing: The parents of Madeleine McCann (left) and Claudia Lawrence (right) said prayers for their absent loved ones at York Cathedral today


Mr Lawrence, 64, and Mrs McCann, 42, met in the centre of York this afternoon before slowly making their way to the grandiose York Minster. Sadly neither Joan Lawrence or Gerry McCann could make the vigil.

They marched along with family and friends, holding a loft a placard with Claudia's picture on and the question 'Where are you''

Prior to the vigil, Mr Lawrence said: 'Everything we have done for the past couple of years has been aimed at keeping the fact that Claudia is missing at the front of people's minds. Everything we can do we are trying.

'Today is obviously a special day because it is Claudia's birthday. It is not just for Claudia, we have organised it for other missing people too. Today is difficult, just like Christmas was but on every occasion we have to make the fact that Claudia is missing apparent.

'Kate got in touch when she heard that we were having this event and she said that she wanted to come along. It is nice to raise awareness for both of our daughters and for the families to come together

Vigil: Peter Lawrence, father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence, and Madeleine McCann's mother Kate met with Dr John Sentamu for a service at York Minster


Mr Lawrence also confirmed that he intends to address a number of MPs at parliament later this week in relation to the control families have over missing people's financial affairs.

Claudia Lawrence's best friend, Suzy Cooper, also attended the vigil and prior to it said: 'It has been really difficult with today being her birthday and Claudia particularly enjoyed going out on Sundays so she would have been really pleased her birthday was on one today.


Vigil: Kate McCann prayed for missing York chef Claudia Lawrence

We haven't made any specific plans for her birthday but I think we will have a drink, a meal and a toast to Claudia.'

The group then made their way to York Minster where they were met by Archbishop of York Sentamu and Dean of York Keith Jones.

After the group had made their way inside the stunning building, Archbishop Sentamu addressed the congregation of 50 people, saying: 'We are having a vigil on the 37th birthday of Claudia Lawrence.

'We must keep ourselves remembering that she is still missing. Someone out there knows where she is and in my prayers I hope they will have the courage to come forward.

'It is great that we also have Kate McCann here, Maddie McCann's mother. As you know in this minster, I pray for both her and for Claudia regularly.'

Mrs McCann and Mr Lawrence were then presented with a blue candle each, as a symbol of the Virgin Mary and the joy and pain of motherhood, before a number of prayers were said for Maddie, Ms Lawrence and other missing people.

The parents of Ms Lawrence and Maddie then sat side by side, along with Archbishop Sentamu, with the Minster's great window in the background, and quietly said prayers for their missing daughters. 

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