Mother gives thanks for ‘shield of love’ at funeral of daughter and her baby

Rachel Fortune arrives at the funeral of her daughter Charlotte Bevan and her four-day-old daughter Zaani Tiana
Rachel Fortune arrives at the funeral of her daughter Charlotte Bevan and her four-day-old daughter Zaani Tiana
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There were tears, laughter and joy as family and friends gathered to say goodbye to a young mother and her newborn daughter.

Charlotte Bevan, 30, vanished from a maternity hospital in Bristol with four-day-old Zaani Tiana Bevan Malbrouck earlier this month.

Search teams later located the bodies of Ms Bevan and Zaani, both from Clifton, Bristol, on the Avon Gorge.

Around 300 people – who had been asked to wear bright clothes – filled Christ Church in Clifton to celebrate the lives of the young mother and daughter.

A single coffin had earlier been carried into the church and the hour-long service, which was led by the Rev Paul Langham, was relayed to people outside.

Pascal Malbrouck paid tribute his partner and their baby, describing them as “two amazing beings”.

“Charlotte, she was my joy, my hope, my strength, my mentor and every minute I spent with her she taught me something,” he told mourners.

“She taught me to love often, to be patient with love, to appreciate beauty and to find the best in others, never give up and try again, to give oneself to the world and make it a little better for everybody else. That was Charlotte.

Ms Bevan’s mother, Rachel Fortune, also told the congregation that since the tragedy her family has been “enveloped in a shield of love so strong that words cannot describe it”.

“We want to thank each and every single one of you for your part in building that shield and we mean all,” she said.

“This shield has helped us through this very difficult time. It is a shield of love and compassion. This shield has enabled my family to see the next dawn, to face the next and the next with fortitude, understanding and love.”