Light of hope: Vigil prayers for Claudia and Madeleine

Kate McCann  lights a  candle inside York Minster at a vigil  for Claudia Lawrence on her 37th birthday  and for Madelaine McCann..

Kate McCann lights a candle inside York Minster at a vigil for Claudia Lawrence on her 37th birthday and for Madelaine McCann..

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THE mother of Madeleine McCann joined Claudia Lawrence’s father for a candlelit vigil at York Minster yesterday for their missing daughters.

Kate McCann met Peter Lawrence for the first time as they said emotional prayers in the cathedral along with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

A 50-strong congregation gathered for the event which was organised to mark the 37th birthday of Miss Lawrence, although her father had opened up the vigil to all families of missing people.

Mrs McCann, 42, from Rothley in Leicestershire, said: “It is nice to spend some time with some people who are in the same position as you.

“Our daughters are different ages and the circumstances are very different but we share the same pain and fear and hope. The Archbishop has also been very supportive. He has never forgotten us.”

Mr Lawrence, 64, a solicitor from Slingsby in North Yorkshire, added: “Today is obviously a special day because it is Claudia’s birthday. It is difficult just like Christmas was, but on every occasion we have to make the fact that Claudia is missing apparent.”

Madeleine went missing while on holiday with her parents, Kate and Gerry, in Portugal in 2007. Miss Lawrence was last seen in York on March 18, 2009. North Yorkshire Police officers have since launched a murder inquiry.

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