Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 11:46 UK

Special service on burnt-out pier

Service at pier: Photo Barry Batchelor/PA Wire
People of all faiths attended the special service at the Grand Pier

More than 100 people attended a special service on Weston-super-Mare's fire-ravaged pier this weekend.

The event was organised by the pier's owners, Kerry and Michelle Michael, and local churches.

People of all faiths joined the service, to remember the old pier and look ahead to its reconstruction.

Richard Taylor, rector of St John the Baptist church, said the pier had become an "iconic structure" for the people of Weston.

"It's very clear it has a special place in the hearts of people further much afield, therefore, I think it's appropriate for us to mark that," he said.

Twin town

The cause of the fire, which broke out on 28 July and destroyed the pavilion, is still being investigated.

The owners reopened the largely undamaged walkway soon after the blaze.

It is heart-warming for us to know how much care, support and treasured memories people have of Weston
Andrew Horler, mayor of Weston

Michelle Michael said: "I know the pier touched the lives of a great many people and I hope this service can help everyone come to terms with what has happened and look to the future as well.

"We are determined to rebuild the pier."

The resort's mayor, Councillor Andrew Horler, handed over a book of condolences to the owners of the Grand Pier.

He said: "I have received many letters, e-mails and calls from Weston and beyond, including our from twin town of Hildesheim in Germany and the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

"I received these messages of goodwill on behalf of Weston and on behalf of the Michaels.

"I have passed these on and will also pass to them any further messages of goodwill I receive.

"It is heart-warming for us to know how much care, support and treasured memories people have of Weston."

Pier alarm sounded before inferno
12 Aug 08 |  Somerset
Experts remove pier fire debris
05 Aug 08 |  Somerset
Groups meet to discuss pier work
02 Aug 08 |  Somerset
Pier fire investigation 'ongoing'
31 Jul 08 |  Somerset
Owner vows to restore burnt pier
28 Jul 08 |  Somerset


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