The funeral of Christina Edkins, the 16-year-old schoolgirl who was stabbed to death on a bus, is being held this afternoon.
Christina died from a single stab wound to her chest as she made her way to school on the morning of March 7.
Her attacker struck as she travelled on the top deck of a bus on Hagley Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Attempts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful, and Christina died at the scene.
Her family and friends will attend St Phillips Cathedral in Birmingham at 1.30 today to pay their last respects to her. A candlelit vigil was held at the cathedral in her memory last night.
Sky News reports that the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Birmingham, issued a statement saying it was a 'sad privilege' for the Cathedral to conduct Christina's service.
"We extend heart-felt sympathy and prayers to her family and friends," she said. "This death is very hard to bear and we ask all those who mourn the loss of this lovely and bright young woman to join us in prayer on Friday."
Christina's parents, Jason and Kathleen, said their daughter was a 'bubbly, beautiful and intelligent' girl whose death had left them heartbroken. "Our lives will never be the same again," they said.
Phillip Simelane, 22, from Walsall, has been charged with Christina's murder and is in custody in a secure mental health unit. He is due to appear in court for a plea hearing on May 31.