The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

1- One Year: Anniversary (Church Services) *

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 
On 03 May 2008, the McCanns attended two services:
 
1) An unannounced afternoon visit to the Anglican Parish Church of St Mary and St John, near their home in Rothley, Leicestershire. Kate taking to the pulpit and urging people to "Pray like mad".
 
2) A special mass for Madeleine, held at 6.30pm, at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, Woolton Road, Childwall in Liverpoool. Also attended by Kate's parents, Susan and Brian Healy.

Kate hugs her mother at the Liverpool service
Kate hugs her mother at the Liverpool service

 

In addition, John McCann, Trish and Sandy Cameron and Kate's cousin, Michael Wright, attended a service at the Our Lady Of Light church in Praia da Luz entitled: 'A Service of Hope, 365 Days Too Long, Madeleine McCann, We Want You Home'. A message of hope from Kate was read out and the song Amazing Grace was sung.

One year on: Light a candle for missing Madeleine McCann, 03 May 2008
One year on: Light a candle for missing Madeleine McCann Daily Mirror
 
Exclusive by Martin Fricker 
03/05/2008
 
It is exactly one year from that terrible moment when Kate McCann discovered her daughter Madeleine missing from bed.
 
The anguished mum and husband Gerry are asking everyone to mark the anniversary at 9.15pm by lighting a candle and praying for their four-year-old's safe return.
 
The McCanns, both 40, believe Madeleine was abducted from their holiday flat at that time.
 
And well-wishers who light their flame, shine a torch or turn on a porch light between that time and 10pm tonight will touch their hearts.
 
Kate said yesterday: "Lighting a candle or lantern is a lovely idea.
 
"We are grateful to everyone who chooses to remember Madeleine at this time." The GP has been dreading the anniversary and added: "It's a difficult day. I think we had underestimated it a little bit. It is probably more significant than we had felt.
 
"I don't think we'll know until the morning really what feels right."
 
Tonight Everton, Madeleine's favourite football club, will switch on its floodlights at 9.30pm. A picture of the missing four-year-old shows her in the team's kit.
 
In the McCanns' home village of Rothley, Leics, candles will be lit in a hotel's grounds. The Helping to Find Madeleine group will release paper lanterns into the sky over the county.
 
Madeleine's grandmother, Susan Healy, will light a candle at home in Allerton, Liverpool. She said: "We know a lot of people will want to light up the sky for Madeleine. We'll do that in our garden and hope others will do the same ."
 
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has kept a candle burning for Madeleine for the last year and has written a special prayer, below, for the anniversary. Kate and Gerry, who remain official suspects in the case, will mark the day privately at home after church.
 
In Praia da Luz, Portugal - the resort from which Madeleine disappeared - a special service will be held at the church where the parents used to pray daily.
 
It is titled A Service of Hope, 365 Days Too Long, Madeleine McCann, We Want You Home. Gerry's brother, John, and other relatives will attend the vigil.
 
Kate has written a message of hope.
 
Priest Haynes Hubbard, who will lead the service, said: "There are no answers.
 
"Until Madeleine comes home, all we can do is hold hands, weep and pray."

_______________

MADDY'S PRAYER

Written by the Archbishop of York
Father God, we pray for Madeleine McCann Keep her safe and take away her fear and anxiety May your holy angels guard and protect her We pray that she may be reunited with those who love her Give hope to all her loved ones And hear our cry for her safe return We offer our prayer in the name of the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen.

_______________

RAY OF HOPE IN TOWN.. 1 YEAR ON

A candle still burns for Madeleine McCann in Our Lady of the Light church here in Praia da Luz.

Lit by an anonymous well-wisher a year ago, it acts as a reminder that the four-year-old is still missing.

Outside the church, yellow and green ribbons still hang from an old cypress tree.

And pinned to a nearby notice board, a poster of Madeleine has yellowed in the hot Portuguese sun.

Within hours of Madeleine's disappearance Luz - as it is known to locals - found itself at the centre of one of the biggest news stories of the past 20 years.

Twelve months on life is slowly returning to normal but it has taken its toll.

Luz and its 6,000 residents - nearly half of them ex-pats - struggled to cope with the Madeleine case. And as I discovered this week, they are still struggling.

Joao Arribanca, from the mayor's office, admitted the town had been changed by Madeleine's disappearance.

He said: "I still hope, for the good of many people, that the truth comes out. It shocked the town, greatly."

Resort chiefs continue to put on a brave face, insisting bookings are not down. But shopkeepers talk of the "Madeleine effect" hitting trade with fewer tourists.

The Rev Haynes Hubbard, who prayed with Kate and Gerry in Portugal, said: "Evil can happen anywhere, and it can be beaten with goodness. Luz will recover, I am sure."

Tonight a service will be held at Our Lady of the Light. The people of Luz will then return home - praying Maddy will be found safe.

Madeleine McCann's grandmother: "I'm proud of Kate on this saddest of anniversaries", 03 May 2008
Madeleine McCann's grandmother: "I'm proud of Kate on this saddest of anniversaries" Liverpool Echo
 
By Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
Published: 03 May 2008
 
MADELEINE McCann’s grandmother today spoke of her pride in daughter Kate as they faced this evening’s first anniversary of the youngster’s disappearance.

It was the milestone no-one wanted but in a bid to keep their four-year-old daughter in the headlines, Liverpool-born Kate McCann and husband Gerry put themselves back in the glare of publicity with a series of TV interviews.

And Kate’s mother, Susan Healy from Allerton, told the ECHO: "I know the person Kate is. I know how self-effacing and shy she is as a person. She’s been thrust into this public role, but she has carried it out admirably.

"I was very pleased that Kate and Gerry were given the platform to say what they wanted to say."

"I am just so very, very proud of Kate."

A special mass for Madeleine will be held at 6.30pm today at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, Woolton Road, Childwall.

Kate and Gerry were married at the church in December 1998 and it is where Kate’s mum prayed before Madeleine, an IVF baby, was born.

Mrs Healy said: "Everyone is welcome. There will be special prayers and songs for Madeleine and the bidding prayers will be read by children."

The mass will be taken by parish priest Father Des Keegan. He will be assisted by Father Paul Seddon, the priest who married Kate and Gerry at Bishop Eton and baptised Madeleine at the Holy Name church in Fazakerley. The readings will be given by ministers from local churches.

In keeping with the low-key nature of the anniversary, Kate and Gerry are spending the day in Rothley, Leicestershire, with three- year-old twins Sean and Amelie. People are invited to light candles at their own homes this evening.

Everton Football Club is to light up the sky for Madeleine by switching on its floodlights between 9.30 and 10pm – the time the youngster went missing.

But it is again being stressed that the stadium will remain closed when the gesture is made.

Candle lit vigil for Maddie, 03 May 2008
Candle lit vigil for Maddie The Sun
 
By VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz, Additional reporting: MARTIN PHILLIPS
Published: Today
 
KATE and Gerry McCann today attended a church service to mark the one year anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

The couple held hands as they walked alongside members of their community to the Anglican Parish Church of St Mary and St John, near their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

Led by the Reverend Rob Gladstone, prayers were said for the four-year-old and other missing children.

The family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said they would not be speaking to the media today, as they wanted to mark the occasion privately.

He said: "This is an entirely private church visit for them."

Despite countless searches, police appeals, media blitzes and hundreds of false leads, police are no closer to finding her than they were the evening she disappeared.

A light went out in the lives of Kate and Gerry McCann that day.

And as the nation remembers Maddie on the first anniversary of her disappearance, her heartbroken mother Kate has urged thousands worldwide to shine a light in her memory.
 
The McCanns’ relatives will lead the tearful tribute by lighting "flames of remembrance" at 9.15pm tonight in their home village of Rothley, Leicestershire, marking the exact time they believe Maddie was snatched from her holiday apartment in the resort.
 
Kate, 40, said: "We think lighting a candle or lantern is a lovely idea. We are very grateful to everyone who chooses to remember Madeleine this way at this time."

A spokesman from the Helping To Find Madeleine charity, which has blitzed Spain, Morocco and Portugal with posters, said: "We plan to light the way home for Madeleine.

"Please go outside tonight and light a candle, shine a torch or turn on lanterns for Madeleine."

In Rothley, they will be releasing Chinese lanterns to float into the sky.

The idea comes from the Chinese Lantern Festival in Taiwan, where people write a wish on the lanterns then release them in the hope their wish will come true.

Before darkness falls, Kate and Gerry, 39, are expected to join locals in prayer at the parish church in Rothley.
 
Since the re-launch of their Find Madeleine campaign, the McCanns have been inundated with letters from all over the world assuring the devastated parents that they and Madeleine will be in people’s prayers on this difficult day.

The National Centre For Missing Children In America have also said Maddie, along with all missing children, will be in their thoughts today.

Kate said: "It’s a difficult day, but it’s funny in some ways because you kind of think it’s just another day, really.

"I think we’ve maybe underestimated it a little bit. It’s probably more significant than we’ve felt.

"I don’t think we’ll know until the morning what feels right to do."

Gerry added: "This week, and the build- up, has been particularly stressful. So I think we’ll do what’s right for ourselves and Sean and Amelie as well."

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has written a prayer to mark the anniversary.

Yesterday he urged the nation to join in its recital.

Dr Sentamu said: "A year ago, Madeleine McCann was abducted from her bed in Portugal.

"I ask that all of us redouble our efforts to pray for her safe return."

Services in Glasgow and Liverpool — Kate and Gerry’s home towns — are also planned while Maddie’s uncle, John McCann, will attend a mass for missing children in Praia da Luz.
 
The resort’s name means "beach of light" and at the white and yellow church of Our Lady Of Light near the seafront, a message of hope from Kate will be read out and the song Amazing Grace will be sung.

There is a poster of the missing youngster in the church, surrounded by candles which will be lit by expats and locals.

Anglican priest Father Haynes Hubbard, who prayed with Maddie’s anguished parents after she disappeared, said: "We continue to hold out hope because there is nothing to the contrary.

"Until Madeleine comes home the only words we have are words of solidarity and the only thing we can do is hold hands, weep and pray."
In Liverpool, a special mass will take place where Kate used to pray before Maddie was born.

It will be assisted by Father Paul Seddon, the priest who married Kate and Gerry and later baptised Madeleine.

At the time of Maddie’s disappearance he flew out to Portugal to be with the devastated parents. Kate’s mum Susan Healy, 62, said of the anniversary: "Kate wants things to be low-key. Everyone is welcome at the Liverpool service. It will be a mass for Madeleine, with special prayers and songs.

"We don’t care if the church is packed out. We will squash everyone in somehow.

"There will be tealights there, and we want to light up the sky for Madeleine."

In Portugal, nearly half of those quizzed in a recent survey believe Kate and Gerry could have been involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.

More than two thirds also believe the Portuguese police have handled the investigation well.
 
In Rothley, meanwhile, all people want to believe is that Maddie is alive and will one day come home.

Tributes were yesterday attached to the railings around the war memorial in the village square, laced with yellow ribbons.

One spoke for many with the message: "Spring has sprung again but there’s still one sweet little flower we’re waiting for."

Madeleine: Thank you for all your support, says Kate in church as McCanns mark first anniversary of disappearance, 03 May 2008
Madeleine: Thank you for all your support, says Kate in church as McCanns mark first anniversary of disappearance Daily Mail
 
Last updated at 15:55pm on 3rd May 2008 
 
Kate McCann thanked her local community for their support today during a church service to mark the anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.
 
Mrs McCann stood up during the 30-minute service at the Anglican parish church of St Mary and St John, in Rothley, Leicestershire, and expressed her gratitude to the congregation.
 
She thanked everyone for praying for the four-year-old and for supporting the family over the year since she vanished in Portugal.
 
Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry left holding hands and clutching bunches of flowers.
 
Led by the Reverend Rob Gladstone, prayers were said for Madeleine and for other missing children during the special service.
 
Speaking afterwards on behalf of the family, Madeleine's great uncle, Brian Kennedy, said: "We would like to thank all the members of the churches here in Rothley and also those who are of no particular church for joining us today to remember the world's missing children and especially, of course, our own Madeleine.
 
"This is a difficult week and we have had many kind messages from residents here and from around the country which have been a great help.
 
"We have invited people of all the many faiths here to pray for these children and their families in their own places of worship on the various days they keep and we would like them to know how much their prayers are appreciated."
 
He described the service as "uplifting" and said he thought it had been helpful and comforting to Kate and Gerry.
 
Mr Kennedy's wife, Janet, said: "We wanted it to be a service not just for Madeleine but for missing children all over the world."
 
Speaking about Kate's decision to speak in the church, she said: "I am not sure how she mustered the strength to do so." But she added that the service " was a great comfort to them both".
 
Ministers from a number of churches joined in the service today.
 
The same prayer said at the service for Madeleine six months after her disappearance was repeated again today, and a poem about courage was read.
 
Leaflets were also given out at the service explaining how to help the McCanns campaign for an EU-wide child alert system.
 
Well-wishers from all over the local area, and further afield, gathered at the church today.
 
Connor Ward cycled from his home in Northern Ireland to Rothley to be at the service, and to raise awareness of the search for Madeleine.
 
Mr Ward said: "The service was very moving. It was quite emotional for everyone."
 
Speaking about Kate, he said: "She seemed very strong. I am very surprised that she spoke but it was brilliant that she did."
 
Supporters around the world will tonight mark the first anniversary of her disappearance by lighting candles and saying prayers.
 
The little girl vanished from her bed in her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, at around 9.15pm on May 3 last year.
 
People are being asked to light candles, shine torches or turn on a porch lamp between 9.30pm and 10pm tonight to symbolise the period when she went missing.
 
Everton, Madeleine's favourite football team, will join the campaign to "light the way home" for the little girl by switching on the floodlights at its Goodison Park ground at this time.
 
Everton's chief executive, Keith Wyness, said: "The message being sent out is a simple one. The search must go on."
 
Their lawyers have advised Mr and Mrs McCann not to return to Portugal because they remain arguidos, or formal suspects, in their daughter's disappearance.
 
Instead a number of relatives - Mr McCann's brother John, his sister Trish Cameron, her husband Sandy, and Mrs McCann's cousin Michael Wright - have travelled to Praia da Luz on their behalf.
 
John McCann said the trauma of their time in Praia da Luz had also persuaded Madeleine's parents to stay in England.
 
"Gerry and Kate under ideal circumstances would have been here, but they have had a very busy schedule this week and they felt that given the day that it is, they would take a quiet time and spend time with Sean and Amelie and with a very close group of friends around their home."
 
He added: "They had a lovely holiday until Madeleine was taken.
 
"They had fantastic support from the people of Luz and from many different parts of Portugal.
 
"And yet associated with Praia da Luz is a lot of pain, a lot of emotional turmoil, and it is a hard time for them.
 
"On the balance of things they thought the best thing to do was to stay at home and look after the two children that remain with them."
 
They were attending a service in the Algarve village's church of Nossa Senhora da Luz (Our Lady of Light) at 6.30pm tonight, where a message from Mrs McCann will be read out.
 
A special mass at Liverpool's Our Lady of the Annunciation church was being led by Father Paul Seddon, who married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine.
 
Portugal's top detective insisted today that police were still gathering evidence in the case following reports that officers were on the verge of exonerating the McCanns.
 
Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), told Portugal's Lusa news agency that officials had not decided whether to bring charges or drop the investigation.
 
He said: "At this stage nothing has been determined regarding possible charges or closing the case.
 
"The PJ continues to gather and analyse all available evidence."
 
The Portuguese weekly magazine Expresso reported on its website that the PJ were preparing to drop the accusations against the McCanns.
 
Madeleine was three when she vanished from the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz while her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.
 
Today's anniversary has attracted words of support from senior clergy and experts in missing people.
 
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, wrote a special prayer for Madeleine McCann and urged everyone to redouble their efforts to pray for her safe return.

BBC News - 2 video clips, Murat's lawyer speaks on 2nd clip, 03 May 2008
Madeleine vigil in Portugal
 
Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 17:38 UK
  
The uncle of missing Madeleine McCann has returned to the Portuguese town where she vanished a year ago.

John McCann and other members of the extended family handed out badges and posters to appeal for information.

 
McCann prayers on anniversary
 
Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 19:19 UK
 
The family of Madeleine McCann have been marking a year since her disappearance at church services in Portugal and the UK.

Steve Kingstone reports.

Anger Over 'Grotesque' Madeleine Doll, 03 May 2008
'Madeleine' mannequin
Anger Over 'Grotesque' Madeleine Doll Sky News
 
Updated:16:42, Saturday May 03, 2008
 
Tempers have flared outside the village church in Praia da Luz over a "grotesque" mannequin of how missing Madeleine McCann would look at 18.
 
The 6ft tall plastic doll was put alongside a wall of Madeleine photographs by a Brazilian artist, who says she supports the hunt for the missing girl.
 
But a row soon broke out as angry locals turned on Josefa Maria dos Santos, and accused her of being "sick" and "grotesque".
 
Nancy Thompson, landlady of The Bull pub opposite the church, shouted at the woman to remove the doll, as passers-by tried to calm the situation.
 
She shouted at her in Portuguese: "It's horrible, who gave you permission to put that there? It's a disgrace! It's sick!"
 
The artist looked shocked, but would not back down. "That is your opinion," she kept saying.
 
The argument, which happened at 2.30 pm today in the blazing sun, took place as members of the McCann family looked on.
 
A clearly incensed Ms Thompson spoke to Gerry McCann's brother John, and asked him what he thought of the doll.
 
Mr McCann, who had flown in from Glasgow to attend a church service on the one-year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, tried to pacify the situation.
 
He said: "It wouldn't be my choice, but the lady's intentions are good."
 
But despite the diplomacy, it was clear the family were upset by the doll - which was dressed in a blue and white track suit, with a striped hat similar to the ones worn by the child.
 
It had a blonde wig and its right eye was painted with the same distinctive mark as Madeleine.
 
When they first saw it as they were standing in the church yard, Madeleine's aunt Trisha Cameron looked sickened and shocked.
 
She told Sky News Online: "I hope that's not Madeleine!"
 
The Brazilian artist claimed the doll represented what Madeleine would like when she was 18 or 19-years-old, and said she had put it there to draw attention to the hunt for the missing girl.
 
She had also installed a wall of Madeleine press cuttings and photographs, and claimed the doll - or "boneca" - had been put there with the McCann family's "authority".
 
An explanation in Portuguese about the mannequin read: "It is very important to remember that you cannot exist as an adult without having been a child.
 
"Return Madeleine please."
 
One section of the wall display, plastered with articles from Portuguese newspapers and magazines, included pictures of the young girl subtitled: "Madeleine photographs from happy days."
 
But Ms Thompson was furious, and told Sky News Online before the argument: "It's absolutely unbelievable! It's grotesque, it's horrible. You wait until catch up with her.
 
"She was banging those posts in at 5.30am in the morning and woke some of the residents up.
 
"She says she's got the family's permission to put the posters up, but who gave her permission to put that doll up?
 
"I've got a good mind to take it down! Or call the police and get them to take it down."

Madeleine: One year on in Praia da Luz - prayers, collages and a bizarre mannequin of missing girl, 03 May 2008
Banners and collages stand outside Praia da Luz's Nossa Senhora da Luz church
Banners and collages stand outside Praia da Luz's Nossa Senhora da Luz church

Tribute: A mannequin with sun hat and characteristic eye marking to represent Madeleine
Tribute: A mannequin with sun hat and characteristic eye marking to represent Madeleine

Madeleine: One year on in Praia da Luz - prayers, collages and a bizarre mannequin of missing girl Daily Mail
 
Last updated at 16:27pm on 3rd May 2008
 
Banners featuring newspaper cuttings were set up next to the church in Praia da Luz today – along with a bizarre mannequin of Madeleine McCann.
 
The tribute appeared ahead of a service at which relatives of the young girl marked the first anniversary of her disappearance.
 
The adult-sized mannequin had a blonde wig and its right eye was painted with the same distinctive mark as Madeleine.
 
It was dressed in a white and blue tracksuit and wore a sun hat similar to the one worn by the child in some of the most famous pictures of her on holiday in Portugal before her disappearance.
 
An explanation in Portuguese stated that the mannequin was a representation of Madeleine - although – especially given its adult size - it looked more like her mother Kate.
 
The poster read: "It is very important to remember that you cannot exist as an adult without having been a child.
 
"Return Madeleine please."
 
The banners were plastered with articles from Portuguese newspapers and magazines that were favourable to the McCanns.
 
One section also included pictures of the young girl subtitled: "Madeleine photographs from happy days."
 
The banners were signed by a Brazilian woman called Josefa Maria dos Santos.
 
Ms Maria dos Santos, an artist, travelled from her home in Lisbon to Praia da Luz early this morning.
 
Asked why she wanted to put up the tribute, she said: "All children are special. All the world is interested in this case.
 
"Everybody wants her to come back, everybody is hoping."
 
She explained that a picture showing an angel with Jesus's face holding a human heart was intended to represent love and hope.
 
Several passers-by stopped to read the banners and take pictures of them.
 
One woman even posed for a photograph next to the mannequin.
 
An anonymous well-wisher left a bunch of yellow roses on the wall outside apartment 5A in Praia da Luz's Ocean Club complex, where the McCanns were staying on May 3 last year when Madeleine went missing.
 
It had a message in Portuguese reading "Wherever you are, you will never be forgotten" and ending in English "Lots of love".
 
A security guard dressed in black stood at the entrance to the Ocean Club's reception, but there was little activity inside.
 
The Portuguese TV station SIC had erected a large platform overlooking the tapas restaurant where the McCanns were dining with friends when their daughter disappeared.
 
But there were far fewer TV crews than at previous landmarks in the search for the missing girl.
 
Pamela Fenn, the British expatriate who lives in the flat above the McCanns' apartment, was seen on her balcony several times throughout the day.

John McCann "torn to be back in the Algarve", 03 May 2008
John McCann "torn to be back in the Algarve" The Resident
 
By Eloise Walton 
03 May 2008
 
PRAIA DA Luz is a beautiful place but the McCann family will never feel comfortable returning until Madeleine had been found, Gerry McCann's brother told a packed press conference in the Algarve on Saturday afternoon (May 3).
 
John McCann, spoke at length to journalists on the beachfront in the resort.
 
They had arrived late in the morning for the 1.30pm conference so that they could be in Praia da Luz exactly one year after Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday.
 
John McCann thanked everyone for coming and showing the sort of support that the family had received throughout the year from residents of the town, the Algarve, Portugal and the rest of the world.
 
A positive and hopeful John McCann showed the latest Find Madeleine poster, which bore a new telephone number and asked the press to help get the word out in a renewed appeal to keep people looking and searching for Madeleine and leaving "no stone unturned".
 
"Kate and Gerry have been working extensively on the issue of missing children and recently visited the National Centre of Missing Children in the US," he said, "where statistics show that around 40 to 50 per cent of missing children are recovered."
 
John McCann said that he was torn to be back in the Algarve.
 
"Praia da Luz is a beautiful place, although the family would never be completely happy or feel comfortable returning until Madeleine had been found."
 
"There is still a substantial amount of money left in the Madeleine fund. At the last count there was around 850,000 pounds," he said.
 
"We talk as a family about what more we can do to find Madeleine and we will leave no stone, that we can afford, unturned."
 
Speaking on behalf of the family, John McCann said that he knows Kate and Gerry considered coming to Praia da Luz today but decided to spend the day quietly at home with close friends and family, adding that he was not aware if Sean and Amelie, Madeleine’s brother and sister, knew about the significance of today.
 
"Our specific purpose is to conduct a vigil tonight, where we will mark the anniversary," he added. "Last year, father Josť Manuel Pacheco spoke of strength, courage and hope and we want to continue that."

Praia da Luz marks one year since Madeleine disappeared, 03 May 2008
Praia da Luz marks one year since Madeleine disappeared The Resident
 
By Eloise Walton 
03 May 2008
 
A SPECIAL service was held to remember Madeleine and all missing children at the Nossa Senhora da Luz church in Praia da Luz on Saturday evening (May 3).
 
The emotional service, in both English and Portuguese, was conducted by the local catholic priest Josť Manuel Pacheco and resident Anglican Church priest Father Haynes Hubbard.
 
Yellow and green candles were handed out to the congregation to be lit during the service to serve as a light of hope. And yellow wrist bands from the Find Madeleine campaign were also given out and a photographic slide show of Madeleine was played to music to emphasise the positivity the McCann family has shown in the search for Madeleine.
 
Members of the McCann family, including Gerry McCann's brother John, who arrived in Portugal earlier this morning, were present at the service and read a letter from Kate and Gerry to the congregation.
 
In the letter, Kate and Gerry thanked the people of Praia da Luz for their initial and ongoing support, as well as their efforts to help in the search to find their daughter, when she went missing one year ago.

The letter spoke of Gerry and Kate's hope that they will one day find their daughter and that their family can once again be complete.
 
After the service, members of the McCann family stood outside the church with members of the congregation around them in a large circle and released yellow and green balloons.
 
John McCann told The Resident that this evening, members of the family would all be taking part in a private and symbolic lighting of candles.
 
"This is to symbolise lighting the way home for Madeleine," he said.

McCanns' plea to 'pray like mad' for lost daughter Madeleine, 03 May 2008
McCanns' plea to 'pray like mad' for lost daughter Madeleine Timesonline
 
03 May 2008
 
THE parents of Madeleine McCann have attended a church service to mark the first anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance.
 
Kate begged those present to "pray like mad" for her lost daughter in an impromptu message.
 
"Please stay with us, stay with Madeleine and keep praying. Pray like mad," said Kate McCann in a barely audible voice, drawing applause from the congregation.
 
Kate and Gerry McCann held hands as they walked to the Anglican parish church of St Mary and St John this afternoon alongside other residents of Rothley, their home village in Leicestershire.
 
The group, led by Rob Gladstone, the parish priest, said prayers for the four-year-old and other missing children.
 
Madeleine has not been seen since she was left sleeping alone with her younger siblings, twins Sean and Amelie, in an apartment at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, while her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends.
 
On the same day as the service, Portugal’s most senior detective said officers had not decided whether the parents' "arguido" status as official suspects should be lifted.
 
The couple left the country after police said they were suspects in Madeleine’s death.
 
Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), Portugal’s CID, said officials had not decided whether to bring charges or drop the investigation.
 
He said: "At this stage nothing has been determined regarding possible charges or closing the case.
 
"The PJ continues to gather and analyse all available evidence."
 
Banners showing newspaper cuttings and a mannequin of Madeleine McCann were set up next to the village church of Our Lady of Light in Praia da Luz.
 
Some of her family have travelled to Portugal for a service at the church that will also mark her disappearance.
 
The adult-sized mannequin has a blonde wig and its right eye is painted with the same distinctive mark as Madeleine.
 
The poster read: "It is very important to remember that you cannot exist as an adult without having been a child.
 
"Return Madeleine please."
 
Maria dos Santos, a Lisbon-based artist, said she put up the tribute to express the hope that Madeleine would return.
 
Meanwhile, John Sentamu, Archbishop of York has written a special prayer for the girl and urged people across Britain to pray for her return.
 
It includes the lines: "Keep her safe and take away her fear and anxiety. We pray that she may be reunited with those who love her."
 
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCann family, said neither Gerry nor Kate would be speaking in public on the anniversary. He said: "This is an entirely private church visit for them."

'Pray like mad,' begs tearful Kate McCann, 04 May 2008
'Pray like mad,' begs tearful Kate McCann Timesonline
 
May 4, 2008 
 
THE mother of Madeleine McCann broke down in tears before a packed church yesterday and urged the congregation to "pray like mad" for her daughter’s safe return.
 
Gerry and Kate McCann marked the first anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance by attending a service at their local church in Rothley, Leicestershire.
 
In an impromptu speech Kate said: "Please stay with us, stay with Madeleine and keep praying. Pray like mad."
 
In an interview before the anniversary the couple revealed they had been given new hope in the search by the "massive" response to their appeal for fresh information last week.
 
Their team of private investigators are combing hundreds of recorded calls and e-mails for further leads.
 
Gerry said: "The lines have been overwhelmed; we've had to call additional operators in.
 
"Who knows what is going to be the key piece of information? The abductor does not live in isolation; the abductor was in Praia da Luz; the abductor needs food and water."
 
The couple took the opportunity to reject claims that they appeared cold and unemotional in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine’s disappearance.
 
Kate recently viewed footage from last year and said she could not recognise herself.
 
Gerry added: "One week on \ Kate went to an Anglican service. I was working that day, being interviewed. And Kate was being carried; it looked like she was going to die."
 
The couple believe that the anniversary could be one of the last chances to put Madeleine’s image in the public eye.
 
Kate said: "The media attention will wane after Madeleine's fifth birthday later this month. Media-wise it could be our last chance."
 
Brian Kennedy, the home improvements tycoon backing the McCanns, admitted yesterday that he flew to Portugal last November and spent an evening with Robert Murat, apart from the McCanns the only other official suspect. A source close to Kennedy said he was "gathering information".
 
Kennedy's lawyer, Ed Smethurst, approached Murat through a mutual friend and said that Kennedy wanted to offer him a job.
 
But the job offer never transpired. Kennedy spent the evening with Murat and his lawyers at his aunt's house in Praia da Luz, discussing Madeleine's disappearance.
 
He left with a "flea in his ear" after being confronted over reports that Metodo 3, the McCanns’ private investigators, had suspicions about Murat.

Kate McCann's pulpit plea: stay with us and pray like mad, 04 May 2008
Kate McCann's pulpit plea: stay with us and pray like mad Daily Mail
 
Last updated at 00:11am on 4th May 2008
 
Kate McCann begged friends and family to keep Madeleine in their prayers at a church service yesterday to remember her daughter a year on from her disappearance.
 
In a tearful and unplanned plea from the pulpit, Kate told them: "Pray like mad. Please stay with us, stay with Madeleine...keep praying."
 
Appearing fragile after a week-long media blitz to publicise the hunt for her child, Kate had held her head down for much of the service at St Mary and St John, in Rothley, Leicestershire.
 
Gently sobbing at times, she appeared a broken figure, one year on to the day her then three-year-old went missing from Praia da Luz, Portugal.
 
Next to her in the front pew of the packed church sat her husband Gerry, holding her hand and staring ahead.
 
At the end of 40 minutes of prayer, Kate, wearing blue jeans, a floral blouse and a beige jacket, rose unexpectedly to thank friends and say how much their three-year-old twins Sean and Amelie missed their sister.
 
She was barely audible, and struggled to hold back tears, as she said: "I have spoken quite a lot this week so I will keep it short.
 
"It is just to say a huge thank-you really for coming to remember, for your support.
 
"We have been quite strong but couldn't have got through without you.
 
"You know how much she means to us, and to Sean and Amelie.
 
"We know you have been praying and we ask you to keep going."
 
As Kate, 40, returned to her pew, the 200-strong congregation applauded and friends rushed to console her as she fell weeping into her husband's arms.
 
Also in church were David and Fiona Payne, and Rachel and Dr Matthew Oldfield, four of the 'Tapas Seven' friends who were dining with the McCanns when Madeleine vanished.
 
Gerry, 39, was hugged by friends and wept at the end of the service – which included a prayer written by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
 
Kate's aunt, Janet Kennedy, said: 'How Kate mustered the courage to speak, I don't know. But it was very inspiring."
 
Kate and Gerry only finally decided to attend the service yesterday after a relentless tour of TV studios.
 
A friend revealed Gerry had to be persuaded to not volunteer to be on call over the weekend at Glenfield hospital, in Leicester, where he is a cardiologist.
 
Kate has vowed not to return to work as a GP until Madeleine is home.
 
The friend said: "They are trying to get their lives back to normality.
 
"But Gerry could see in the end that he couldn't be on call on this weekend."
 
The couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, admitted they were finding the anniversary more painful than they had anticipated.
 
He said: "It is an intensely private day, very difficult. In some ways being at home is the best place but in other ways it is the worst."
 
On his blog, Gerry wrote: "It has been the longest year of our lives, yet it does not seem like a year."
 
In a Portuguese newspaper Gerry admitted he has struggled with guilt over enjoying time with the twins while Madeleine is missing.
 
Meanwhile, Gerry's brother John, 48, arrived in Praia da Luz before a candlelit mass.
 
He said: "We are here to thank the people of Portugal who have supported Gerry and Kate. We really do feel we can get Madeleine back."
 
Last night, it was revealed the McCanns' financial backer, tycoon Brian Kennedy, had met Robert Murat, the first suspect in the case.
 
The meeting took place at Mr Murat's aunt's house in the Algarve last year.
 
Mr Murat's lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, said: 'We had a very pleasant dinner with Mr Kennedy.
 
"He came here to give his support to Robert and to say he doesn't believe Robert was involved in this story in any way.
 
"And he asked if Robert could help the investigation for the finding of Madeleine."
 
It is understood the meeting in November was also attended by Mr Kennedy's lawyer, Edward Smethurst, who is co-ordinating the McCanns' legal affairs.

Yellow for Maddie - round up of articles in The People, 04 May 2008
Yellow for Maddie The People
 
04 May 2008
 
Notice anything different about us today? We have replaced our usual red masthead with the yellow ribbon of hope.
 
Yellow for Madeleine McCann. To mark 12 months since she disappeared.
 
Since then, hardly a day has gone by when we have not been faced with pictures of the smiling little girl.
 
A little girl we have taken to our hearts as if she were our own. And not a day passes when we have not been with Kate and Gerry McCann in their torment.
 
So a yellow ribbon for Maddie. And our prayers for Kate and Gerry.
 
Public keep us strong The People
 
Missing for a year: Britain, Portugal and world unite in hope
 
04 May 2008
 
Maddie's aunt and uncle last night returned to the apartment she was snatched from and insisted: "We can still find her."
 
John McCann and sister Trisha - Gerry's siblings - went on to a church service, where they lit a candle for their niece in a tearful, private ceremony.
 
But John, 48, said the family's grief had been tempered by hope.
 
He added: "We are ordinary folk, but we need extraordinary support.
 
"We really do feel we can get Madeleine back.
 
"Anyone who has or likes kids can feel our pain. And we are appealing to the people of Portugal, the people of Europe, to please help us find Madeleine."
 
Sales rep John, from Glasgow, added: "We have had terrible ups and downs and no doubt that will continue. But the public give us more ups than downs and the ultimate up would be to get Madeleine back.
 
"Already there have been a huge number of calls to the new hotline and that gives us hope."
 
Light her way home The People
 
Missing for a year: Britain, Portugal and world unite in hope
 
'You are a light that shines in the darkest times. Guide all who search for Madeleine'
 
By Rachael Bletchley in Praia da Luz
04 May 2008
 
The sunrise over Praia da Luz was as beautiful as ever yesterday.
 
A warm, orange glow spread up from the horizon then burst into the dazzling rays that give the resort its name - Beach of Light.
 
A year ago an excited little girl woke to a May morning just like this, the start of another day of swimming, making sandcastles and holiday fun.
 
But 14 hours later, at 9.15pm on May 3 2007, the blonde three-year-old was carried off into the night - and all light vanished from the lives of Kate and Gerry McCann.
 
In the 365 days since then Madeleine McCann's name and face have become known around the globe.
 
But Maddie, who will be five next week, is still lost and the media spotlight that has kept her parents going in their year of darkness is fading fast. That's why yesterday they urged folk everywhere to light candles, burn lanterns or shine torches in the sky to "light the way home" for Maddie.
 
At a church service in their home village they heard the Rev Bob Gladstone pray: "You are a light that shines in the darkest times. Guide all who are searching for Madeleine."
 
Last night a single candle was lit in the McCanns' home while villagers lit candles, shone torches or turned on porch lamps at 9.15pm, the time Maddie went missing.
 
At the same time in Praia da Luz a local man lit four small candles and placed them on the wall outside the McCanns' holiday apartment.
 
McCann relatives who had flown to Praia da Luz - Gerry's brother John, sister Trisha, brother-in-law Sandy and Kate's cousin Michael Wright - lit a candle beside Maddie's photo in the church of Our Lady of the Light.
 
Gerry, a hospital doctor, told The People. "We have to bring it all back to Madeleine, focus on finding her.
 
"It's inevitable that the spotlight cannot stay the way it's been. This is a last chance in terms of international reach and publicity.
 
"This is a heinous crime. There's a little girl out therewho's completely innocent - and there IS information out there."
 
Kate and Gerry are still official suspects and cannot speak about the Portuguese police investigation. The People revealed last month how some officers from the Policia Judiciaria are still pressing for Kate to be charged with child endangerment for leaving Maddie alone while she and Gerry went out to eat with friends.
 
But the McCanns are convinced the PJ stopped bothering to look for Maddie the moment they started doubting them.
 
And they fear they may NEVER get to see the official police files revealing exactly what was done to find Maddie as cops can apply to extend the "judicial secrecy" period due to expire on May 15.
 
The couple feel they have to start from scratch with the new campaign to follow up leads that were never pursued last year.
 
Gerry said: "We've launched a UK number because the vast majority of tourists in the Algarve are British and Irish.
 
"We know that last summer, Crimestoppers and Leicestershire police had thousands of pieces of information, thousands of calls, thousands of emails.
 
"We want to capture some of that because we don't know what's been done. It's just incredibly frustrating."
 
Kate added: "Time is of the essence, even now. We're asking peoplewho have rung in before, to kindly do it again.
 
"We obviously didn't get access to any of the information that came in last year.
 
"So far the response has been absolutely fantastic - hundreds of calls, the lines have been overwhelmed."
 
Gerry went on: "We'll guarantee anonymity if anyone wants it.We don't care why people have or have not contacted us before, all we're interested in is finding Madeleine.
 
"Already there is very relevant information coming from many different areas."
 
Last year, within hours of Maddie's abduction, criminal psychologists advised the couple not to show their pain in case it gave her kidnapper a warped kick.
 
By following that advice the McCanns were branded cold and unemotional but Gerry revealed how their private pain has been "torture upon torture."
 
He said: "An abduction alone is enough to destroy a family, and there's a tremendous trauma that's created in the extended family. We've had to face many, many, many difficult periods during that last year.
 
"But Madeleine drives us on. There was some footage that was left out of the TV documentary we did. It was filmed one week on when Kate went to a church service with her friend.
 
"She didn't see the camera but Kate was being carried. And it looked like she was going to die. The first days were the worst.
 
"I remember a Saturday three weeks after Madeleine disappeared, I was playing with our two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie in the pool and I felt happy and thought 'How is this possible?' I felt a terrible guilt.
 
"How is it possible to feel happy when we have no idea where Madeleine is?" Yesterday other families were playing happily in that same pool at the Ocean Club complex just yards from apartment 5A where Maddie was snatched as she slept.
 
A bunch of yellow roses had been left at the gate with a message in Portuguese which read: "Wherever you are you will not be forgotten. Lots of love."
 
And as the sun was setting over the beach, someone else sent a message to give Kate and Gerry a glimmer of hope in their darkness.
 
Written in the sand it read: "Madeleine, one year on. Still Looking."
 
Pray like mad The People
 
Maddie: One year of hell tearful plea of vanished tot's mum Kate
 
By Joshua Layton in Rothley, Leics
04 May 2008
 
On the first anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, her tearful mum Kate begged yesterday: Pray like mad for her.
 
Kate, 40, made the plea at an emotional church service - then collapsed in the arms of husband Gerry, 39.
 
The distraught mum of the missing four-year-old told the congregation in the family's home village of Rothley, Leics: "We know you have been praying and we ask you to keep on praying. Please stay with us. Pray like mad."
 
Earlier the McCanns had arrived at St Mary and St John Parish Church looking tired after days of intensive campaigning in a renewed push to find Maddie.
 
The devout Catholics walked hand in hand into the 13th Century church where they were joined by several members of their fateful Portugal holiday party from a year ago - David and Fiona Payne, and Dr Matthew Oldfield and wife Rachel.
 
The service united all the main faiths in the area and was meant for all missing children in the world.
 
The Rev Rob Gladstone said: "May we hold in our hearts Madeleine's parents and all their family and friends." The congregation of about 100 people were also handed leaflets calling for a European-wide early warning system for child abductions.
 
After the service the couple, who only decided to attend at the last minute, left the church holding bouquets of flowers and cards.
 
Maddie's uncle Brian Kennedy said: "We would like to thank all the churches for joining together to pray for all the missing children in the world, especially our own Maddie. We found the service very helpful and very uplifting."
 
Everywhere in the village there were symbols of hope that one day Maddie will return.
 
In the village square which has become a shrine to the missing tot, goodwill messages from around the world were tied to railings with yellow ribbons.
 
One read: "The truth is out there sweet Maddie and I hope and pray that no one will hurt you. I will always love you until the end of my days. Let God keep you safe always." The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It's an intensely private and very difficult day for them."
 
Last night the couple returned to the church in Liverpool where they got married for a Mass. They sat with Kate's parents, Brian and Susan Healy, in the front row at Our Lady Bishop Eton church.

Madeleine McCann's parents in Liverpool to mark anniverary, 04 May 2008
Kate at the service in Liverpool
Kate at the service in Liverpool

Madeleine McCann's parents in Liverpool to mark anniverary Liverpool Daily Post 
 
May 4 2008
 
Kate and Gerry McCann are hoping to slip out of the public spotlight today after marking the first anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.
 
The couple attended two special church services to remember the little girl yesterday, exactly 12 months after she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal.
 
A tearful Mrs McCann urged people to "pray like mad" for Madeleine at a morning service in the couple's home village of Rothley, Leicestershire.
 
Then she, her husband and their two other children, three-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, travelled to Liverpool for a Mass in the church where they were married.
 
Part of the service at Bishop Eton Monastery - the parish church of Mrs McCann's parents - was taken by Father Paul Seddon, who married the McCanns in 1998 and later baptised Madeleine.
 
The couple were said to be extremely emotional after commemorating yesterday's sombre landmark.
 
They would spend today quietly with relatives and friends, family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said.
 
In a new interview, Mrs McCann said she was looking forward to being out of the public eye after her daughter's fifth birthday on May 12.
 
"The media attention will wane after Madeleine's birthday, and that's a relief," she said.
 
"I'd like to think that's how it will stay. That's why now, we're doing this. Media-wise it could be our last chance, or last opportunity to get all that information in."
 
The McCanns wanted to be in Portugal yesterday but their lawyers advised them not to return while they remained arguidos, or formal suspects, in Madeleine's disappearance.
 
Instead four of their relatives - Mr McCann's brother John, his sister Trish Cameron, her husband Sandy, and Mrs McCann's cousin Michael Wright - travelled to Praia da Luz on their behalf.
 
John McCann said his brother and sister-in-law were clinging to the hope that their daughter will be found, adding: "They had a lovely holiday until Madeleine was taken.
 
"They had fantastic support from the people of Luz and from many different parts of Portugal.
 
"And yet associated with Praia da Luz is a lot of pain, a lot of emotional turmoil, and it is a hard time for them.
 
"On the balance of things they thought the best thing to do was to stay at home and look after the two children that remain with them."
 
The four relatives attended a service at Praia da Luz's church of Our Lady of Light last night.
 
An emotional message from Mrs McCann thanking people in the village for their "heart-warming and overwhelming" support was read out in the church.
 
Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that Brian Kennedy, the McCanns' millionaire backer, met Robert Murat, the first official suspect in the case in November last year.
 
Francisco Pagarete, Mr Murat's lawyer, confirmed the meeting took place at Mr Murat's aunt's house in the Algarve.
 
He told the BBC: "He came here to give his support to Robert and to say he doesn't believe Robert was involved in this story in any way or sense.
 
"And he asked if Robert could help the investigation for the finding of Madeleine in any way."
 
Mr Pagarete said Mr Kennedy promised to stay in touch with Mr Murat but had not contacted him since.
 
It is understood the meeting took place was also attended by Mr Kennedy's in-house lawyer, Edward Smethurst, who is co-ordinating the McCanns' legal affairs.
 
Mr Kennedy informed Portuguese detectives after he met Mr Murat and is adamant he did not commit any offences under Portuguese law.
 
The meeting is said to have been a simple "information-gathering exercise" and does not imply that the McCanns suspect Mr Murat in any way.
 
Portugal's most senior detective, Alipio Ribeiro, yesterday insisted that police were still collecting evidence in the case, following reports that officers were on the verge of exonerating the McCanns.

Madeleine McCann: Merseysiders gather to remember missing daughter, 05 May 2008
Madeleine McCann: Merseysiders gather to remember missing daughter 
 
By Laura Sharpe
05 May 2008
 
MERSEYSIDE marked the one-year anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance with poignant services at the weekend.
 
Kate and Gerry McCann returned to the church in which they were married for a public Mass.
 
Everton Football Club also commemorated the four-year-old's disappearance by lighting up the empty Goodison stadium for 30 minutes.
 
The McCanns, along with hundreds of well-wishers, went to Our Lady of the Annunciation, at Childwall’s Bishop Eton Monastery, the parish church of Kate's parents, Susan and Brian Healy.
 
The Mass was led by Fr Desmond Keegan, the Healys' parish priest.
 
He was assisted by Fr Paul Seddon, who married Kate and Gerry in 1998 and later baptised Madeleine. Kate sat through the service with her son, Sean, on her lap and daughter Amelie to her left. Gerry sat next to Amelie with his arm stretched round to his wife's shoulder.
 
In his homily, Fr Seddon described Madeleine as a "very beautiful little girl".
 
He said she had been in the hearts and minds of just about everyone over the past year and added: "We have not given up hope that we will be reunited with her soon."
 
He said the past 12 months had left the McCanns "so much more aware of evil in the world" and said he was proud of the couple's campaign for a Europe-wide child rescue alert system. He added: "Wherever Madeleine is, she will know one day that her mummy and daddy, along with their family and many friends, have indeed left no stone unturned and have done everything they can to find her and will continue to do so.
 
"In knowing this, Madeleine will know that she is loved by so many people and that she is a very precious girl who has touched the hearts of thousands of people all over the world.
 
The McCanns played no part in the Mass, the usual Saturday evening first Mass of Sunday.
 
But it had been announced that it would be dedicated to Madeleine and missing children everywhere.
 
Hundreds of people crammed into the small church and others had to watch from outside. Afterwards, many queued to shake hands with Kate and Gerry.
 
The couple, with Kate's parents, then spent a short time in the parish hall where friends and parishioners had been invited by Fr Seddon to join them.
 
Mr and Mrs Healy then attended the light switch-on at Everton. The club has also joined a campaign, Light the Way Home, to show support for Madeleine’s family and friends.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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