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Olivia Pratt Korbel.JPG 1.JPG
Reuters
Olivia Pratt Korbel.JPG
Reuters
UK News

"Let us comfort one another" says Archbishop of Liverpool as Oliva Pratt Korbel's funeral takes place

by Alex Collett

The funeral of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel took place in Liverpool today, 15th September 2022, at the church next to her school, in Dovecot. 

People lined the street as the coffin arrived at St Margaret Mary's Church in a horse-drawn carriage.

Mourners were asked to wear a "splash of pink"  in honour of the nine-year-old schoolgirl, who was shot dead in her home last month.

Most Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon Archbishop of Liverpool said that people should "comfort one another" at this time: 

Speaking in his homily he said: "In St Paul's words let us comfort one another with words of faith - faith in each other, faith in God and faith in the belief that Olivia's untimely death will lead to a community here in Liverpool without violence, that it will become a place of peace and justice.

"The loss of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare nothing can compare with the sense of desolation and the depths of grief which you experience, and little can be done to alleviate the pain which you as a family must feel, which is shared by neighbours, friends and the school and parish community of St Margaret Mary’s and indeed all the good people of Liverpool.

"So, I am aware of how empty words can seem on an occasion like this but I do want to express my deepest condolences and sympathy to Olivia’s mother, father, brother and sister. The words I offer you are also words of consolation and hope."

Olivia was at home with her mother on Monday 22nd August 2022, when violence erupted in the street outside her home. When her mother opened the door to see what was happening, men raced into her home to seek refuge. Hiding behind her mother, Olivia was fatally shot when she was caught in the crossfire. 

At the funeral, Cheryl Korbel described her daughter as "chatty and bubbly".

During the service she paid tribute to the nine year old: "Liv touched so many hearts and was loved and adored by everyone, so us and I will never say goodbye, but what I will say is goodnight, love you, see you in the morning."

Father Roy Cooper, the parish priest who conducted the funeral, read out a second eulogy from Olivia's dad: "Olivia was taken away from us far too soon, such a bright future stolen from her, she will be forever in our hearts."

Most Rt Rev Tom Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, says it has affected the entire community, he told Sky News: "The death of a child is bad enough, but the circumstances were so dramatic and so awful that everybody feel's involved.

"The difficulty is in these situations is that nobody knows what to do and we are all part of the same.

"That's why you need a structured service, which I think was beautifully balanced."

Olivia's headteacher, Rebecca Wilkinson from St Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School where Olivia was a pupil, described her as a kind hearted girl: 

"She oozed kindness, quite a character really, if there was something going on she would be in there with it."

Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, the founder of charity Crimestoppers, announced he had personally provided a £50,000 reward for new information leading to the conviction of Olivia Pratt Korbel's murderers.

Merseyside Police are still currently looking for the suspect.

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