07/10/2012 10:12 BST | Updated 07/10/2012 18:44 BST

April Jones Missing: Service Held In Machynlleth As Mark Bridger Charged

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects today as an emotional service took place for missing five-year-old April Jones.

A procession of more than 700 people walked slowly through the Welsh town of Machynlleth, as normal life came to a standstill.

Hundreds gathered at the Bryn-y-Gog estate from where April was abducted on Monday evening.

april jones

The service was held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John

With crowds wearing pink ribbons symbolising the faith many still have that the girl remains alive, the procession moved in subdued silence through the town.

Roads along the route were closed off as the sombre gathering inched its way slowly to St Peter's Church at the heart of the mid Wales market town.

april jones procession

Hundreds took part in a procession before the service

Reverend Kathleen Rogers addressed the congregation, as she offered prayers for April's parents Coral, 40, and Paul, 44, who did not attend the ceremony.

She said: "We cannot bring little April, our sweet and innocent little girl, home as we had hoped."

"But our hope has now been moved on to sure and certain hope that she is in the arms of Jesus.

april jones

April Jones has been missing since Monday

"Coral and Paul may not be with us this morning but we hold them very close in our hearts as we pray for them.

"There are hundreds of people today searching our town, our countryside, our river. Many hundreds more have been searching this last week.


Mark Bridger Charged With Murder Of Missing Five-Year-Old April Jones

"We thank them and we pray for them as they came to us in our hour of need and they continue to be with us."

Reverend Rogers said that a service had also been held for the search workers at the local leisure centre this morning.

"I have brought a candle from that service so that they are here with us in spirit," she said.

There was a moment of silence before those gathered sang the Welsh hymn Morning Has Broken.

Reverend Rogers then read a touching poem on behalf of April's mother called "Mum".

Former lifeguard Mark Bridger, 46, was charged yesterday with the abduction and murder of April.

Local man Bridger is also accused of perverting the course of justice and will appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

The five-year-old remains missing despite an intensive, ongoing search. Exhaustive efforts to find any sign of April continue unabated.

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