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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Candlelit tribute to Ken Bigley
By Julia Houston
BBC News Online, Liverpool

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Hundreds prayed for peace at the Requiem Mass
The image of Kenneth Bigley stood tall at the heart of Liverpool's Catholic Cathedral, as mourners queued in their hundreds to sign a book of condolence.

People from across the city gathered for Friday evening mass, just hours after hearing the news that the hostage had been murdered in Iraq.

His family said on Friday he would be remembered for his love and compassion for others.

In Liverpool, he has already become a symbol of the horrors of war, and of the importance of faith.

None of us would dare to say we understand the suffering of the Bigley family
Archbishop, Most Rev Patrick Kelly
The Archbishop, Most Rev Patrick Kelly, led a tearful service for Mr Bigley, who he said was "violently taken from us".

"Tonight, none of us would dare to say we understand the suffering of the Bigley family," he said.

But we wish to be alongside you, we wish not to impose our words or thoughts, simply hold you in our hearts."

Just moments earlier, Mark Holt of the Merseyside Stop the War Coalition accused Tony Blair of not being bothered about a "working class man from Liverpool."

Civic leaders during two-minute silence in memory of Ken Bigley
A two minute silence was led by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool
But a working class man from Liverpool captured the prayers of so many.

About 250 people joined the Requiem Mass, most with heads bowed, holding back their tears and praying over the loss of Mr Bigley's life and for the strength of his family.

Several stayed at the back of the building, coming in mid-service for a quiet moment to meditate on the day's news.

Families, teenagers and children were among them, all there to show solidarity as the world's attention focused in on their community.

Their thoughts surely echoed the words of the Rev Kelly, as he spoke of the Bigley family at home in Walton, saying "I am a far lesser person than they are".

As the service closed, nearly all the congregation moved to sign the book of condolence, as others sat in silent prayer or lit a candle of remembrance.

Before the service, Liverpool student Samrita Narwar, said the city saw a ray of hope after the release of several other hostages last week.

"I don't know whether they [the captors] feel the pain of their brothers and sisters," she said.

Liverpudlian Bob Olias said the pain of his family will be felt throughout the community.

"I feel so sad for him and his family," he said.

"People in his neighbourhood, in Walton, will be there to rally around for them."

A two minute silence was held in the city at 1200 BST on Saturday, led by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

City to stop in tribute to Bigley
08 Oct 04  |  Merseyside

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