Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Missing people will be remembered at service
THE father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence has announced he will launch Yorkshire’s first Missing People carol service this winter – as he marks three-and-a-half years since his daughter disappeared.
As a patron for the Missing People charity, Peter Lawrence is organising a carol service for those who cannot attend the national charity’s annual service in London.
The service, which follows The Press’s Absent Friends carol service in 2009, will take place on Monday, December 10, at St Chad’s Church, opposite York Racecourse, from 2.30pm.
Mr Lawrence said invitations would be sent to families with missing loved ones – but encouraged anyone who wanted to attend.
Speaking about his daughter at a press conference outside York Minster yesterday, Mr Lawrence said: “It is a sad time for us. Three-and-a-half years is an awfully long time.
“I know there is someone out there who knows what has happened to her and it is time they came forward.
“If they had a member of their family missing I am sure they would be asking the same. It has gone on long enough.”
At the press briefing, the 50th he has given since Claudia went missing, Mr Lawrence handed over a cheque to Ben Houghton, the treasurer of the Missing People charity.
Mr Lawrence has raised £825 thanks to sponsorship by Blue Square Bet at York Races for the last two years.
He said a company director at Blue Square Bet, upon hearing about his missing daughter, had offered to double any bets Mr Lawrence won at 2011 and 2012 May meets and for the cash to be given to the Missing People charity.
Mr Lawence handed over a cheque to Mr Houghton, who thanked him for the sponsorship and for his work in trying to improve the rights of the families of missing people.
Mr Lawrence has led a campaign for new legislation to make it easier for those dealing with a missing person’s estate after Claudia disappeared in March 2009.
Mr Houghton said: “We are very grateful to Mr Lawrence – not only for the money which gratefully receive – but for putting his own anguish of Claudia to the side and being such a fabulous champion of the Missing People issues.”