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Jayden: Churchyard rededicated in religious service
8:30am Monday 17th March 2014 in News
The Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, leads the congregation around the churchyard during the service
A QUIET churchyard where the body of teenager Jayden Parkinson was found was re-dedicated in a religious service yesterday.
The Bishop of Dorchester and the vicar of All Saints’ Church in Didcot renewed the sanctity of the churchyard where the remains of the 17-year-old were discovered in a disturbed grave a week before Christmas.
In the late afternoon sunshine, The Rt Rev Colin Fletcher and the Reverend Karen Beck led some 50 parishioners around the churchyard and blessed the ground so it could be returned to its former status.
Ms Beck said: “In Didcot last year, this churchyard was misused by the reopening of a grave, and a young woman, Jayden Parkinson, was placed in that grave under cover of darkness.
“We now publically reaffirm this space as a space of reflection for those who come to mourn a loved one.”
Former Didcot Girls’ School student Jayden had been missing from an Oxford hostel for more than two weeks before she was found. Her funeral took place in her former home town of Cheriton, Kent, last month.
Her ex-boyfriend, Ben Blakeley, 22, from Reading, has been charged with her murder. Blakeley, and a 17-year-old boy from Didcot, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have also been charged with perverting the course of justice.
Both are due to appear at Oxford Crown Court today.
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