Friends and family of Claudia Lawrence among those attending Missing People carol service at St Chad’s Church, York

York Press: Members of the Rock Choir of York sing at St Chad’s Church during the Missing People carol service Members of the Rock Choir of York sing at St Chad’s Church during the Missing People carol service

MEMORIES have been shared at a special service in York by the families of people who have gone missing.

Peter Lawrence, the father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence, was among the families attending the carol service, at St Chad’s Church, Knavesmire, last night.

The service was organised by local volunteers from national charity Missing People, which offers support to the families of missing people – a task they acknowledge is more difficult over the festive period.

Jo Youle, chief executive of Missing People, said: “The limbo of having someone missing, not knowing whether they are safe, is even harder at a time when families are coming together to celebrate.

“It’s great that we are able to hold these carol services with the help of so many dedicated volunteers and staff across the UK to show people that they are not alone and that we are here for them for as long as it takes.”

Canon Simon Stanley led the service, with a reflection given by the Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Rev Glyn Webster, and music from The Rock Choir of York, The Vale of York Voices, and St Chad’s organist, Bob Batchelor.

Suzy Cooper, a friend of Claudia Lawrence, spoke of the changes in her life following Claudia’s disappearance, the continued search for her friend and the emotions that brought with it.

She said: “Almost five years after Claudia’s disappearance, I find myself still battling with emotions I do not understand. There are many definitions of the word friend, but my favourite is ‘the person with whom you dare to be yourself’. She allowed me to dare to be me. I miss my friend.”

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