Sir David Amess had been holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, last month
Mourners will pay their respects to Sir David Amess at a funeral service and horse-drawn procession in his Southend West constituency today – as Boris Johnson said the ‘murdered’ MP will be ‘much missed’.
Father-of-five Sir David, who was a devout Catholic, was stabbed to death while holding a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on October 15.
His friend and colleague Mark Francois is to deliver a eulogy at Monday’s private ecumenical service at St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell, and a horse-drawn hearse will carry the casket on a procession through Southend following the 1pm service.
It is due to pause outside Southend’s Civic Centre and again outside Sir David’s constituency office, Iveagh Hall, before returning to the chapel of rest.
Paying tribute to Sir David, Boris Johnson said the event would help mourners reflect on his ‘amazing contribution’ to his constituents.
The Prime Minister added: ‘He was a guy who campaigned about things he really cared for… He showed what you can achieve as an MP to change lives of people up and down the country and he will be much, much missed.’
Monday’s funeral service, led by Reverend Paul Mackay and Rev Monsignor Kevin William Hale, is strictly by invitation only.
Mr Gilbert said people can pay their respects to Sir David by lining the streets as the hearse passes and by writing in the book of condolence at the Civic Centre before it closes at 7pm on Monday.
A private ecumenical funeral for MP Sir David Amess is to take place in his Southend West constituency
Sir David with (from left) daughter Katie, wife Julia and other daughters Flo, Sarah and Alex at Flo’s wedding in August. On October 15, the veteran MP was pronounced dead at the scene
The veteran MP’s friend, former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, is to read a statement on behalf of the Amess family.
On Tuesday, a requiem mass will be held at Westminster Cathedral in London, where a message from the Pope is to be shared.
In an earlier interview, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told BBC Essex that several of his Cabinet colleagues broke down in tears when they learned of Sir David’s death.
Mr Johnson had been on a Cabinet away day when he was told the news.
‘Everybody was absolutely devastated,’ he told the broadcaster. We were all sitting around. I then got called out and got given the news.
‘I had to go back in to tell Cabinet colleagues, many of whom had known David for decades, and I’m afraid several colleagues broke down in tears because it was just an appalling piece of news.
‘I think we were also very shaken by the implications of what had happened, and the fact his life had been tragically ended in the way that it was.’
Ali Harbi Ali, 25, is charged with murdering the Conservative MP for Southend West last month
Forensic officers at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Essex on October 15
People look at flowers left by the police cordon near Belfairs Methodist Church on October 17
The alleged terrorist accused of fatally stabbing Sir David will enter pleas next month at the Old Bailey ahead of a potential trial in March next year.
Ali Harbi Ali is charged with murdering the Conservative MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15.
The 25-year-old British defendant, who is in custody, is also charged with preparing acts of terrorism between May 1, 2019 and September this year.
Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend Council, said today would be an ‘incredibly emotional day’.
He said that Sir David’s family ‘understand there are many others in the city who knew and loved him’, and have agreed for the service to be broadcast on local radio station BBC Essex.
Sir David’s family have requested that in lieu of flowers or other tributes, donations are made to the charities that he supported.
These include The Dog’s Trust, The Music Man Project, Prost8, Endometriosis UK, and the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue.