Portuguese community's prayers

STEPHEN PULLINGER Members of Yarmouth's Portuguese community will be congregating at the town's St Mary's Catholic Church at 7pm today to pray for Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old feared abducted on the Algarve.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

Members of Yarmouth's Portuguese community will be congregating at the town's St Mary's Catholic Church at 7pm today to pray for Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old feared abducted on the Algarve.

Posters advertising the special service have been put up in Portuguese shops and cafes around Yarmouth as well as Bernard Matthews factories where many members of the community work.

The poster invites people to “pray for the quick resolution of Maddie's case” and state that “all Portuguese families are praying for a happy ending for Maddie and her parents”. It urges people to “come bring a flower and pray”.

The Rev Peter Glanville, deacon at St Mary's, in Regent Road, said: “We have a significantly large Portuguese congregation which is growing all the time as the children grow up and get baptised. I have done more than 30 Portuguese baptisms in the last two years alone.”

Mr Glanville said the idea had come from local Police Community Support Officer Amelia Shurmur, a Portuguese woman, who had been urged to organise an event by the members of her community that she saw on her beat.

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He said: “They told Amelia it was a terrible thing to happen in their lovely country where people adored children. A lot of the Portuguese people said 'we must pray', and in Portugal and in England May is the month to celebrate Mary, the mother of God.”

Mr Glanville said there had been an immensely impressive response to get the posters out so quickly, and he was expecting a large congregation for the service, held on Madeleine's fourth birthday.

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