A POIGNANT light sculpture shone as a symbol of hope as hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects in memory of MP Jo Cox.
The moving service at Huddersfield Parish Church this evening saw the congregation line up to tie red, white and blue ribbons to the sculpture, which surrounded a single candle, as a symbol of unity and hope.
The vicar of Huddersfield, the Reverend Canon Simon Moor said: “In this place and time, we lament – but we also want to turn words and actions into hope.
“By creating a sculpture together with a simple light at its centre, we celebrate the light and love that Jo brought into our world.
“By tying ribbons of red, white and blue, we tie into, and connect ourselves to that light and love, and not the darkness and hate that killed her.
“I am sure everyone who knew Jo would want her vision of love and unity to live on.”
The sculpture will go on display outside the church on Byram Street, where members of the public can add to the display in the next few days.
The event was the first big service held in south Kirklees for local people to remember Mrs Cox and saw civic leaders, members of the public, colleagues and residents attend.
The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, the Mayor of Kirklees, councillor Paul Dodd and the three Kirklees MPs – Colne Valley’s Jason McCartney, Huddersfield’s Barry Sheerman and Dewsbury’s Paula Sherriff – also paid tribute to the mother-of two and MP for Batley and Spen.
Mr Sheerman said: “We have lost one of our musketeers.
“It will take a long time to come to terms with this.
“She has been stopped from fulfilling her potential.
“She has been halted in the wonderful job she was doing for this wonderful area.”
Paula Sherriff also paid tribute to her late friend and colleague.
She said: “Irrepressible. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Jo.
“Her passion and vitality shone through in everything she did.
“She had the rare ability to see the good in everyone.
“She epitomised everything that was good about politics.
“We owe it to Jo now to continue her legacy and her fight against hate and eradicating extremism in all forms.
Mr McCartney said: “Small in stature but immense in heart, this was a proud Yorkshire lass making a difference here and on the world stage.
“In our hearts, we will always be working with Jo.”
He added: “The sheer shock of hearing that a colleague, a campaigner, a Yorkshire lass and a loving mum had been brutally murdered just a few days before her 42nd birthday made me feel numb.
“She had so much energy and always had a smile for everybody.
“It is so hard to believe Jo had been an MP for just over a year. She had achieved so much.
“She had a passion for helping others – here in Yorkshire and abroad.
“Let’s give Jo a lasting legacy and debate important issues with passion and vigour. Let’s embrace hope.”
The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, told the congregation she had received a phone call from the Queen’s secretary asking for Mr Cox’s address so that Her Majesty could send her condolences.
Prayers were also read and hymns were sung at the service, which ended as the light sculpture was taken outside.