Award-winning grime artist Stormzy stood among hundreds at a candlelit vigil honouring Elianne Andam, a Christian teenager who was stabbed to death in Croydon last month. The 15-year-old was attacked on her way to school, and died despite the efforts of a bus driver and passersby to save her.
A 17-year-old has been charged with her murder, and possession of a knife.
The vigil took place outside Whitgift Shopping Centre, the same location where Elianne, who attended a local church, lost her life. Stormzy joined the crowd in a moment of silence alongside the teenager's family, who led prayers. A choir also performed "Amazing Grace", with mourners joining in.
The road was temporarily closed to accommodate those who gathered beneath a painting of the warm-hearted teenager, who had just started Year 11.
Friends and the public left flowers, cards, photos, balloons, and stuffed animals in her memory. Attendees were encouraged to write messages in a book of condolences for Elianne's family.
Bishop of Croydon Rosemarie Mallett read a short statement on behalf of Elianne's family, which read: “We, as a family, are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne. Our hearts are broken and we are overwhelmed by sorrow and grief.
“Our faith in the Lord is strengthening us. We would like to express our gratitude to those who have taken the time to send us thoughtful and compassionate messages and prayers.
“We kindly ask for your consideration to also respect our need for privacy as we attempt to come to grips with our deeply devastating loss.
“Elianne was a beautiful person inside and out, who loved Jesus. She was intelligent and had a bright future ahead of her. It is our request that you keep our cherished daughter Elianne and our family in your thoughts and prayers.”