Kate's plea: Please stay with us now

Kate's plea: Please stay with us now
Madeleine: 100 Days of Hell
The Sunday Mirror
12 August 2007
Lori Campbell

Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday attended a poignant service of prayers for Madeleine to mark 100 days since she went missing.

The couple, who arrived holding hands for the somber service at the tiny church in Praia da Luz, both wore the Portuguese colours of hope - yellow and green - and "Look for Madeleine" wristbands.

Scores of wellwishers gathered at the whitewashed Nossa Senhora da Luz church as the McCanns closed one of the most difficult weeks since Madeleine went missing.

Some locals stirred up by Portuguese press reports have begun to criticise their constant presence in the resort and a car parked opposite the church had a message in the window saying "Circus go home".

During the hour-long service, Kate thanked local people for their support and asked them to stay with her and her husband as they continued their "journey of hope" for their "precious" daughter.

The service - themed as "100 Days of Hope" - included prayers for Madeleine and other missing children as well as short addresses by both the McCanns.

Her voice breaking with emotion and still clutching Madeleine's favourite Cuddle Cat toy, Kate McCann said: "I would like to welcome you all here today to join us in some special prayers for Madeleine and all children who suffer around the world at this moment.

"As you are aware, it is 100 days now since our little girl was taken from us. Every day feels so hard without Madeleine. I could talk all day about how wonderful, how precious Madeleine is, but suffice to say we all miss her so much and our lives aren't complete without Madeleine.

"Please stay with us as we continue our journey of hope and please keep Madeleine in your thoughts and prayers."

Her husband struggled to hold back tears as he thanked the local community for its "overwhelming support". He said: "We have not given up hope that we will be reunited with her. We will not stop looking for her until she is found." Many families with youngsters attended the service, which was drawn up with children in mind and included the hymn Away In A Manger. Members of the congregation lit candles and placed them on the altar.

In the McCanns' hometown of Rothley, Leicestershire, relatives and friends marked yesterday's grim milestone with a quiet vigil at the local Catholic church.

Meanwhile, Madeleine's grandmother Eileen McCann said rumours of her daughter's involvement in her disappearance were "obscene".

She said anyone who knew the couple would be horrified. "The idea of Kate or Gerry being involved is ridiculous," she said. "They love those children more than they love themselves."

Stars from the worlds of rugby, football and horse racing yesterday urged people at major sporting events around the UK to continue looking for Madeleine. In one of many shows of solidarity, Robbie Keane led out the entire Spurs team wearing Madeleine t-shirts for their game at Sunderland. And at Twickenham a video was shown at half-time of Jonny Wilkinson and other England stars giving their support to the hunt for Madeleine.

'We won't stop looking until Madeleine is found'

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