April Jones funeral: Town of Machynlleth turns pink in honour of murdered five-year-old girl

Nearly a year on from her murder, April's parents Paul and Coral were finally able to lay their daughter to rest

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The Independent Online

The town where April Jones lived said goodbye to her today nearly a year on from her cruel and brutal killing at the hands of father-of-six Mark Bridger.

With the process of returning April's remains to her family complicated by the extensive search - the biggest in UK history - and subsequent murder trial following her death, it is only now that her parents Paul and Coral have been able to bury their daughter.

A horse-drawn hearse carried the tiny white coffin through the streets of Machynlleth from the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lived to St Peter's Church.

Around 200 people joined in the family's grief at a service with prayers, psalms, readings and hymns - but no eulogies.

The town came to a standstill for the day, with everyone wearing pink in tribute to the schoolgirl, who was five when she died.

The Reverend Kathleen Rogers led proceedings, saying: "We know that there are no words we can say at this moment to express what we are feeling.

"No words can alleviate our sorrow or take away our pain."

April parent's Paul and Coral and siblings Jazmin and Harley stood at the front of the church for the moving service.

Ms Rodgers told the congregation: "We have come together to remember April in the presence of God. We have come to celebrate her short life and grieve together, to say goodbye.

"It's a bittersweet moment. Our hopes and dreams have changed because April has been taken from us.

"But you know, we come also with a sense of thanksgiving for the many ways that April touched our lives and those with whom she came into contact.

"For a five-year-old she touched a great many lives ... for Paul, Coral, Jazmin and Harley, April was and is extra special.

"But she touched us all and we think and feel differently because of the difference she made to us.

"Today, here in this place, she is linking us all together in grief. Yet, grief goes hand in hand with love.

"In whatever way we express our grief, it shows our love for April.

"And surely that is the most important thing for any human being of whatever age, simply to be loved."

Additional reporting by PA

Video: The funeral of April Jones