People living in the village of Rothley have refused to give up hope
that missing youngster Madeleine McCann will be found.
Aa the search for the little girl enters its third year, there were
prayers and fund-raising events to show support for the family as their
ordeal goes on.
Madeleine disappeared from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in
Portugal on May 3, 2007 in a suspected abduction. Since then there has
been a worldwide hunt to find the youngster.
Schoolchildren yesterday dressed in yellow and green – the colours of
the Find Madeleine appeal – and sold cakes to raise money for the
The 311 pupils at Rothley Primary School, which the youngster was due to
attend before her disappearance, in Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley, raised
£441 for the charity leading the campaign.
The youngsters said prayers around their Hope Tree, which was planted
for Madeleine. It was also decorated with yellow and green ribbons.
Rothley vicar Rob Gladstone
Pupil Kirsty Thomas, 10, said: “It is upsetting that she should have
been at our school by now. I had already met her around Rothley before
she went missing.”
Kizzy Simpson, 10, added: “It’s nice to raise money but it’s also an
upsetting day because the family live in the village and it’s not fair
because she was taken for no reason.”
School secretary Sam Cooper said: “We have been raising money for
missing children throughout the world to mark the second anniversary. We
raised £270 last year and £441 this year. We also had a special morning
assembly to talk to the children about Madeleine and what we were
raising money for.”Madeleine lived in Rothley with parents Kate and
Gerry and twins Sean and Amelie.
In the centre of the village, the candles, teddy bears, cards and
hundreds of ribbons that once adorned the area around the war memorial
are long gone.
But the youngster’s disappearance is still very much in the minds of
people in the community. Rothley vicar Rob Gladstone, from the church of
St Matthew and St John, said Madeleine would be in the church’s prayers
at the two services tomorrow.
He said: “This year, with the anniversary being on a Sunday, we will be
including prayers in the usual services we have at the church. People in
Rothley aren’t exhibiting their feelings about Madeleine openly but that
doesn’t mean people no longer care. They still very much support the
There will also be prayers tomorrow at the McCanns’ Catholic church,
Sacred Heart, in Rothley.
The church’s priest, Father Keith Tomlinson said: “All I can say is the
family are behaving with great strength and fortitude, and long may that
“The Sunday mass is dedicated to Madeleine and her family and our
prayers will be with them. We pray for Madeleine each week and mention
the family in our prayers.”