Families of missing loved ones were joined by police officers, police
staff, representatives from local authorities, charities and other
Last night’s carol service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in central London
was a fitting and poignant memorial to those who are missing at
Christmas. The event was organised by the NPIA UK Missing Persons Bureau
and the charity, Missing People.
The congregation of over 800 heard speeches and readings from a number
of representatives, including NPIA chief executive, Nick Gargan, and
Missing Persons Bureau manager, Joe Apps.
Nick Gargan told the congregation that over 900 people are reported
missing every day. He described how the government, statutory agencies,
the NPIA Missing Persons Bureau, and the voluntary sector will work
together as part of a new strategy to reduce the number of people who go
missing, reduce the harm to those who go missing and provide more
support and advice to missing persons and families.
Other speakers included Sarah Godwin, mother of missing male, Quentin
Godwin, who disappeared in May 1992 from Titirangi in New Zealand and
Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of Missing People. Sir Trevor
McDonald OBE and Brenda Blethyn OBE also gave readings and the charity's
Royal Patron, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, GVCO, attended the event.
Performances were also given by Rock Choir and the Choral Scholars of St
Nick Gargan said: "The concert was, quite simply, a beautiful event. The
performances of two very different choirs were the highlight, from my
perspective. The event brought together families of the missing,
supporters of the charity and practitioners in a very special atmosphere
of reflection and hope."
Joe Apps said: "Christmas will always be a difficult time of year for
families who are missing loved ones. Our carol service brought together
families supporters, charities, police and partners to remember those
missing at Christmas. During the service the light of hope passed
through the church for all to share - a poignant moment to take time to
remember those who are missing."
of Brenda Blethyn OBE, Kate and Gerry McCann (parents of missing
Madeleine McCann) and Trevor McDonald OBE at the service.