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World News

'Undoubtedly heaven will be a happier place': Archbishop's tribute to Liverpool school girl Ava White

by Marcus Jones

The Archbishop of Liverpool has told mourners at the city's Metropolitan Cathedral that 'heaven would be a happier place' as he paid tribute to a 12-year-old who was stabbed to death last month following a Christmas lights switch on.

Leading the funeral for Ava White, Most Rev Malcolm McMahon described her as a girl who lived without fear and was a popular, loving young person.

 "Ava was loved by so many people, undoubtedly heaven will be a happier place," he told the hundreds in attendance which included teachers and pupils from Notre Dame Catholic College where she went to school.

A Bible reading was given by Notre Dame headteacher Peter Duffy while hymns sang were Do Not Be Afraid, For I Have Redeemed You and Amazing Grace.

Speaking to reporters after the service, Archbishop Malcolm said:  "The tragic, heart-breaking loss of Ava White brought deep shock and sadness to everyone in the city.

"The turnout today at the cathedral shows the unity and love that we have in Liverpool for Ava and her family.

"It was an incredibly moving and emotional funeral which was a fitting tribute to Ava.

"We continue to pray for Ava, her family, her friends, her teachers and her community."

A 14-year-old boy has been charged with Ava's murder. He'll appear in court in February.

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