16 October 2021

Candlelit vigil held in honour of MP Sir David Amess

16 October 2021

Hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil in memory of MP Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death while meeting constituents.

Crowds carrying lanterns and candles gathered in darkness at Belfairs sports ground in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on Saturday to honour Sir David, who was killed the day before.

The field is where an air ambulance had landed on Friday, as paramedics tried in vain to save the father-of-five at the nearby Belfairs Methodist Church.

At the vigil, Southend councillor Alan Dear addressed those gathered in a circle around dozens of glowing candles on the grass.

“For me, and I know for all of you because you’re here, it’s been a terrible 24 hours for all of us,” he said.

He went on: “For me, (Sir David) was a good friend, and I know he was a good friend to all of you here.

“He spent 40 years of his life caring for the constituents of Basildon and Southend.

“He was a very kind, loving, gentle man.

People during a candlelight vigil at Belfairs Recreation Ground (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

“A gentleman and a gentle man.

“He’s a person I will never forget.

“He’s always been available.

“If you ever needed help he was there.

“I know he’s helped many of you here this evening.”

He invited the crowd to join him in a minute’s silence, which was followed by rounds of spontaneous applause.

Sir David Amess was remembered at a vigil (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Scores of floral tributes to Sir David, who had been an MP since 1983, had piled up by the police cordon on Eastwood Road North, where the church is, over the course of the day.

A message from Sir David’s cousins, left with floral tributes near Belfairs Methodist Church, said: “RIP David. Thinking of your lovely family. Can’t believe this has actually happened. Will always love you. Cousins Moira and Pat.”

A further family message, from second cousins, said: “I am so sad to hear the news of this brutal attack. You was a great man, husband, father and member of our family. You will be missed. Rest in peace.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox