Mourners carrying lanterns and candles gathered in the darkness at Belfrairs sports ground in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday night (Picture: Getty/PA/Rex)
Hundreds of people have attended a candlelit vigil for MP Sir David Amess in his constituency of Southend West.
Mourners carrying lanterns and candles gathered in the darkness at Belfrairs sports ground in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday night.
The field is where the air ambulance landed on Friday, as paramedics tried in vain to save the father-of-five’s life at the nearby Belfairs Methodist Church.
Sir David died from multiple stab wounds after he was attacked while holding a constituency surgery in the church.
At the vigil, Southend councillor Alan Dear addressed those gathered in a circle around dozens of flickering candles laid on the grass.
He said: ‘For me, and I know for all of you because you’re here, it’s been a terrible 24 hours for all of us.
‘For me, (Sir David) was a good friend, and I know he was a good friend to all of you here.
The crowd observed a minute’s silence, which was followed by rounds of spontaneous applause (Picture: EPA)
‘He spent 40 years of his life caring for the constituents of Basildon and Southend.
‘He was a very kind, loving, gentle man.
‘A gentleman and a gentle man. He’s a person I will never forget.
‘He’s always been available. If you ever needed help he was there.
‘I know he’s helped many of you here this evening.’
He invited the crowd to join him in a minute’s silence, which was followed by rounds of spontaneous applause.
People from across the community have come to lay flowers and leave messages in memory of Sir David both at the church and in Parliament Square, London (Picture: PA)
In the wake of Sir David’s death hundreds of floral tributes have piled up by the police cordon on Eastwood Road North, where Belfairs church is.
People from across the community have come to lay flowers and leave messages in memory of Sir David both at the church and in Parliament Square, London where tributes have also been placed.
A message from Sir David’s cousins, left with floral tributes near Belfairs Methodist Church, said: ‘RIP David. Thinking of your lovely family. Can’t believe this has actually happened. Will always love you. Cousins Moira and Pat.’
A further family message, from second cousins, said: ‘I am so sad to hear the news of this brutal attack. You was a great man, husband, father and member of our family. You will be missed. Rest in peace.’
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