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Friday, May 21, 1999 Published at 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK


Prayers for Jill

Prayers led by the Rev Philip Gathercole at the funeral of Jill Dando.

Our Father God we thank and praise you for all that you have given to our world through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Farewell to Jill Dando
He came to show us the path from earth to heaven, to die that our sins might be forgiven and to build a Kingdom of Love. You have raised from the dead that all who trust in Him will share His risen life.

Our Father receive the deep gratitude of many, many people for the life and work of Jill Dando: from Jack her father, Nigel her brother, Alan her fiance, family, close friends and colleagues of Jill, those who today line the streets of Weston-super-Mare where she loved to roam as a schoolgirl and report: the members of Weston Hospicecare and all the good causes she supported; together with thousands more throughout the United Kingdom who are thinking of us now. We all feel Jill cared about us.

Our Father we thank you for Jill, a loving daughter, delightful sister, adoring fiancee, a loyal, thoughtful colleague at the Mercury, at the BBC in the West Country and London, generating happiness wherever she went.

She won all our hearts as a friend in the front room, smiling her way through the good news, but sensitive to our feelings about the bad news.

She joyfully took us to the lovely places of the world with all their beauty and grandeur. We thank you too, our Father, that on Crimewatch she helped the police to make England a safer place in which to live.

Our Father we are perplexed, and even angry, that Jill who enriched our lives with so much love and laughter should be taken from us so suddenly and so savagely.

Hear our prayer for the Metropolitan Police that they may be sustained in their demanding work and soon bring Jill's killers to justice.

Our Father we are so grieved that her marriage in the autumn to dearly loved Alan should be denied, and also the possibility of motherhood for which she hoped and longed.

We believe that in ways we cannot know here on earth there is fulfilment in the life to come and give thanks, through our tears, that Jill is with her Lord who "makes all things new", with her mother Jean and all the company of heaven.

Our Father everything that is good and lovely flows from your hand and Jill would want us to give thanks for a Christian home, a Christian church and a faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour that daily motivated her and gave meaning to life in sorrow and in joy.

Our God and Father we pray that your consolation and strength may sustain Jack, Nigel, Alan, all who are shocked and saddened and we ask that all that was important to Jill will be treasured by us who face the future without her.

Help us to grasp more fully that life is more than the years we log up, and the love you have shown us in Christ is stronger than death.

So we put our trust in Our Lord's promise: "I am the resurrection and the life: whoever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life." Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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