2:45pm Wednesday 12th March 2014
A SPECIALLY-formed choir from Leasowes High School sang at a memorial service in tribute to fellow student Christina Edkins who was fatally stabbed a year ago.
The group’s opening rendition of The Lord Is my Shepherd sparked spontaneous applause from the hundreds of family and friends, led by her father Jason.
The hour-long service moved through grief, memories and hope, punctuated by the chamber choir’s singing of You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful and You Raise Me Up.
Headteacher Neil Shaw, senior staff and Christina’s teachers, including her form tutor, and other students were among those who packed into Birmingham Cathedral last Friday.
Many of Christina’s classmates, who left the school last summer to go on to sixth form colleges and other training places, paid their respects on the first anniversary of her death and extra seating had to be opened up on a first floor balcony.
The congregation wore purple lapel ribbons and many wore purple clothes – 16-year-old Christina’s favourite colour.
The service, led by the Reverend Canon Janet Chapman, began with a poem read by Christina’s aunt Mandy Rammell called Christina – Our Princess.
A friend Amy Stokes and cousin, Savannah Jordan, read poems they had written about the memories they had of the popular teenager.
The lighting of candles by those gathered in memory of Christina was led by her parents, Jason and Kathleen, and her brother and sister, Ryan and Joanne.
Mr Shaw said: “It was an appropriate event which marked the anniversary in a fitting way and ended with a sense of hope.”
Earlier, a minute’s silence was held at Leasowes High and tributes were laid at the engraved Yorkshire stone memorial to Christina.
The front page of the school’s website also carried a memorial to the year 11 student who was preparing to sit her GCSEs when she was attacked on the number nine bus as she travelled to Leasowes along Hagley Road from her Birmingham home.
Christina died from a single wound to her chest in the random attack by paranoid schizophrenic Phillip Simelane on March 7 last year.
The indiscriminate killing of the innocent schoolgirl sent shockwaves around the country.
Simelane, aged 22 at the time, from Walsall, admitted manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court last October and was detained in a secure psychiatric hospital indefinitely.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group