News 

Vigil for missing Gorleston student Sophie Smith held at Norwich Cathedral

3rd March 2018
Dan Grimmer, Yarmouth Mercury, reports


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A Vigil for the peace of Sophie Smith who went missing on Boxing Day was held at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Nick Butcher
 



“When I think of Sophie, I think of one of the best friends I have ever had and probably ever will have”

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A Vigil for the peace of Sophie Smith who went missing on Boxing Day was held at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Nick Butcher
 



That was among the memories from the friends of Sophie Smith which were read out at an emotional vigil for the missing Gorleston student in Norwich Cathedral

More than 150 people attended Saturday’s Vigil for the peace of Sophie, which was organised for those affected by the University of East Anglia student’s disappearance and for those who have searched for her

Sophie, 21, disappeared from her home in Avondale Road in Gorleston at 3am on Boxing Day, without a mobile phone and wearing just a vest and shorts

Subsequent CCTV footage captured her heading towards the seafront a short time later, but there have been no other confirmed sightings since then

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A Vigil for the peace of Sophie Smith who went missing on Boxing Day was held at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Nick Butcher
 



Her disappearance sparked searches by the community and by emergency services and a number of those who looked for her were present at the vigil

Canon Andy Bryant, who led the service, said: “Out of Sophie’s disappearance, the one bright ray was the way the community came together to help in the search for Sophie”

He said Sophie’s family wanted to thank all who had looked for her, including emergency services such as the police, coastguard, lifeboat crews and the lowland search and rescue teams

He said: “We want to remember Sophie’s love of life, her smile and her sense of fun. We will never quite know why Sophie made the choices she made. Some things in life remain unknowable”

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A Vigil for the peace of Sophie Smith who went missing on Boxing Day was held at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Nick Butcher



Sophie, a second year biomedicine student, regularly visited the cathedral, where her mother Lynn Shaw volunteers as a welcomer

Candles were lit for Sophie and donations made towards the work of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Mind, whose services she had used

Mr Bryant said: “My prayer for Sophie today is that wherever she is, in Heaven or Earth, she may know she is loved by God and that knowledge will give her peace”

• The charity Missing People is available to help people who are thinking about leaving home, for people who are away from home now or if somebody you know is missing. Call or text 116000 or email 116000@missingpeople.org.uk
 


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