'She lit a candle to dispel the darkness'

'She lit a candle to dispel the darkness'

BIRSTALL was only one of many places that held vigils for Jo Cox last Thursday night.

About 400 people packed into St Peter’s Church on Kirkgate – including many political figures.

Among those who attended were Labour MPs Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves, Dan Jarvis and Caroline Flint.

Other vigils were held in places including London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

In Birstall, the church bells rang 42 times for Mrs Cox, who was to celebrate her birthday this week.

The Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, said she “lit a candle to dispel the darkness.

“She grew up in this community, she’s served this community, she loved this community and she died in this community.”

He added: “We must celebrate the way she lived rather than mourn the way she died.”

Prayers for Mrs Cox were also said at Wakefield Cathedral, Halifax Minster and All Saints Church in Batley.

Tributes also poured in from celebrities, such as Mariella Frostrup, Lily Allen, Dermot O’Leary, Simon Cowell and Dawn O’Porter.

Last Friday, a minute’s silence in Batley Market Place drew a crowd of several hundred people.

The previous evening, Rev Paul Knight at St Peter’s Church summed up how many people were feeling.

He said: “In many ways we’re still numb. That’s why it’s right we should mostly be still. But there will be opportunity to talk after.

“There will be feelings of great anger and pain. We will be here for each other in the days ahead.

“Jo grew up in this community and she gave her life for it. She was someone who was deeply committed to her own family as a wife and a mother.”

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