A MEMORIAL service to celebrate the life of London Bridge terrorist attack victim Saskia Jones takes place at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church next week.
The 23-year-old from Stratford, together with her friend and fellow Cambridge University graduate, 25-year-old Jack Merritt, were both killed in the attack on November 29.
A memorial service will take place at Holy Trinity at midday on Friday December 20.
Saskia’s family has issued a statement thanking people for their support.
“We would like to thank all those who have expressed their condolences since the events of Friday November 29.
“The family are devastated by the loss of Saskia, a brilliant, caring daughter, grand-daughter, niece, cousin, friend and colleague.
“We are very grateful for the huge number of messages of support we have received from family, friends and strangers alike. Their thoughts are very much appreciated. It has been made very clear that Saskia is held in the highest esteem by many people and that she had touched so many lives in a short time.
“We have also found the support of the Metropolitan Police invaluable at this difficult time.
“We thank all those who have respected our wish for privacy and ask that this wish continues to be upheld.”
While the family has requested family flowers only at the service they would welcome donations to Saskia’s favourite charity – Warwickshire Air Ambulance. Visit saskia-jones.muchloved.com to donate.
Holy Trinity vicar Rev Patrick Taylor said: “There is no doubt the service will be a focus of attention for many people across the nation who have been moved by the story of Saskia’s life and death, but at the centre of it all is a family who are grieving and want to place Saskia in God’s safe keeping as they say farewell to her.
“My prayer is that Saskia’s memorial service will help her family and friends to know how much they are surrounded by the support and prayers of many people, and that they will be comforted by knowing that Saskia is now held in God’s eternal loving embrace.
“Saskia’s service will take place at a time of the year when we also host many Christmas carol services at Holy Trinity church. The contrast between the two may seem odd at first, but in fact they are both part of the same story: at Christmas we celebrate a birth which is the coming of the light of God’s love in to the world and it’s this same light of Jesus Christ which also gives us hope in the darkness of death. As one of the Christmas readings says – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
A book of condolence for Saskia has also been opened in Holy Trinity Church.
The inquest into Saskia and Jack’s deaths opened earlier this month. and was adjourned to a date to be determined.
Saskia and Jack were both stabbed to death by 28-year-old Usman Khan – who was then shot dead by police – while taking part in prisoner rehabilitation programme Learning Together – Jack as a co-ordinator and Saskia as a volunteer at Fishmongers Hall next to the bridge.
Khan was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he attended the conference. He was half way through a 16-year sentence for terrorism offences and had been released from jail in 2018.
A vigil was held on the following Monday at Guildhall Yard in London with prime minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan among those in attendance.