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The mother of Madeleine McCann joined friends and well wishers to remember her daughter on the 12th anniversary of her disappearance, as Portuguese police revealed they could be closing in on her kidnapper.
Kate McCann and her 14-year-old twins Sean and Amelie were warmly welcomed during a poignant prayer service in their home village of Rothley, Leicestershire, while her heart doctor husband Gerry was busy working in Italy.
Mrs - McCann - Support - Prayers - Readings
A visibly emotional Mrs McCann, 51, was 'overwhelmed' by the support as she joined in prayers and readings to mark the occasion - the first anniversary without Gerry by her side.
Her uncle Brian Kennedy said before the half hour service that the family 'still had hope even after all these years'.
Head - Teacher - Detectives - Leads - Police
The retired head teacher, 80, declined to discuss detectives' potential new leads which they have yet to be informed about, saying: 'We're just grateful that police are still searching. It gives us hope.'
Mrs McCann, wearing a purple puffa jacket and black jeans and with her hair freshly highlighted and trimmed, fought back tears during as children, including her twins, lit candles for Maddie and other lost children.
Gathering - Place - War - Memorial - McCann
The gathering had been due to take place at the war memorial in the McCann's home village of Rothley, Leicestershire, where a candle burns around the clock as a beacon of hope for the world's most famous missing child.
But it was moved into the nearby local Baptist Church to avoid expected rains showers.
Vicar - Rev - Rob - Gladstone - Prayers
Vicar the Rev. Rob Gladstone, who led the prayers, opened the service by saying: 'A warm and a very dry welcome. Even after twelve years of hoping and praying we trust that God has not abandoned us or Madeleine. We come together again to show our support for Kate and Gerry, for other parents of missing children and young people, to help keep alive the...
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