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Birthday vigil for missing Claudia Lawrence

Original Source: YORK PRESS: 27 FEBRUARY 2011
5:31pm Sunday 27th February 2011 By Richard Catton

THE father of Claudia Lawrence was joined by missing Madeleine McCann's mother for a candlelit vigil in York Minster.

Yesterday was the 37th birthday of the missing York chef, and her father Peter walked side-by-side with Kate McCann and others, through York, to the service for loved ones who have disappeared.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said the ceremony was to let people show their support for the families of Claudia Lawrence, Mrs McCann's daughter, Madeleine and others who had gone missing.

Mr Lawrence, 64, said the vigil was for all missing people and their relatives, friends and the general public.

Looking back over the two years since his daughter disappeared, Mr Lawrence said he was determined to keep Claudia in the public eye.

'It's obviously difficult but I made mind up at the beginning of this that that's what I would do so that's why I am here,' he said.

'I am told that information is still trickling in. That's why I'm here saying please give whatever information you have to the police.'

He then led a procession from the Mansion House in St Helen's Square, to the West Doors of the Minster for the Vigil at the high altar, where candles were lit.

On marking Claudia's birthday, her friend, Suzy Cooper, said: 'It's one of those difficult things, because with it being her birthday you would want her to be there. So maybe we will have a few drinks and just say cheers Claudia.'

Mrs McCann said: 'Our daughters are different ages and the circumstances are very different but we share the same pain and fear and hope.

'This is actually the first time I have met Peter, I have been in touch with his wife.

It is nice to be able to support each other because it is one of those things that, unless you have been in that situation it is very difficult to understand.

'The Archbishop, John Sentamu, has also been very supportive. He has never forgotten us.'

Meanwhile, a North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "The investigation into the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence is still continuing, although there have been no major developments.

"We would ask anyone with information to contact us.'  


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