Ugandan child sponsored in memory of April Jones

April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth in WalesPA

The parish of Machynlleth is to sponsor a child in Uganda in memory of April Jones.

Five-year-old April went missing from her home town of Machynlleth in Powys, Wales, on 1 October 2012 sparking an intensive seven-month police search.  

Local man Mark Bridger was found guilty of her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice in May.  The judge sentencing him said he would never be released.  

April's funeral will take place at St Peter's Church, Machynlleth, on Thursday after an inquest into her death came to a conclusion earlier in the month.  

Mourners have been asked to wear her favourite colour pink.  

Reverend Kathleen Rogers, priest-in-charge at St Peter's Church, said the idea for the child sponsorship arose because people wanted to see something good come out of the tragedy.  

The sponsorship is being organised by Christian charity World Vision and will see a five-year-old girl from a village in Uganda sponsored by the parish until she finishes her education. 

All donations from April's funeral will go towards the sponsorship as well as an extra gift for the girl, her family and her village to use as they need.

The parish will be able to keep up with her progress as she grows up through regular updates and photographs.

Mrs Rogers said, "We have all, by the grace of God, come through a terrible, terrible tragedy. We are battered and bruised but by His continued grace we will find healing and peace.

"In an attempt to see some good out of this tragedy, we have decided to sponsor a little girl from a village in Uganda in memory of April.

"April's parents have kindly asked that donations from her funeral be donated to this sponsorship and we are very grateful to them."

The funeral service will be a service of hymns and prayers with no eulogies. Balloons will be released at the end.

Mrs Rogers, who will be leading the service, said: "A funeral plays a significant part in the grieving process and the funeral of little April will be even more important for her family as the probability of such a service was very remote until the inquest two weeks ago.

"Our prayer is that it will be a starting point for them as they travel the long and painful journey of healing. It will also, I think, give the community permission to bring some sort of normality back to our town."

In a message to be read out at the service, the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, says, "The Diocese of Bangor is holding you as a family and as a community in its prayers. You are not alone."

Justin Byworth, chief executive of World Vision UK said, "We're privileged that the church and April's family have chosen to honour April's memory by sponsoring a child through World Vision UK. We offer our sincerest condolences and we express our gratitude that, through these desperately sad circumstances, a five-year-old girl in Uganda will benefit."

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