Family and friends fill St Peter’s Church in March for the funeral of Joshua Warby - ‘a popular pupil with a good soul’
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people, including family members and friends from Neale-Wade Academy, filled St Peter’s Church in March this morning for the funeral of Joshua Warby - “a popular pupil with a good soul”.
In a moving service led by rector, the reverend Andrew Smith, the 14-year-old’s family, friends and teachers heard how Joshua touched so many people’s lives.
After listening to two pieces of music, revd Smith welcomed Neale-Wade principal Jason Wing to pay tribute to the former Year 10 student.
Mr Wing commended Joshua’s positive attitude and described him as a popular pupil who showed great determination in his academic studies.
He added that Joshua was the kind of person who would help those who were struggling to fit in or were new to the school.
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As a mark of respect, many of Joshua’s friends and fellow students wore the Neale-Wade Academy uniform. They were also given permission to not attend school before or after the funeral if they did not wish to.
The reverend Sara Cliff, who teaches science at the school, read a poem and reflected on his lessons in her laboratory.
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After reading from the bible, Rev Andrew Smith then asked those in attendance to reflect on how Joshua touched their hearts and encouraged them to always allow him a place in their hearts.
The final song played was Ellie Goulding’s ‘How Long Will I Love You?’ as family and friends left the church.
The lay minister for the church service was David Harrison, and a private burial was held afterwards.
A minute’s silence was also held at Neale-Wade Academy at 10.30am for students and staff to pay their respects.
At the weekend around 500 people gathered in West End Park in March to release balloons and lanterns as a tribute to Joshua.
More than £1,500 has also been donated on a JustGiving page and more than £800 made for the Samaritans through handmade purple and turquoise ribbons which were sold at the school thanks to Laura Garner who made them.
She also set up a stall of ribbons on the night during the park event and raised £500 for the family.
In a letter to parents last week, Neale-Wade Academy principal Jason Wing said: “He was a popular, conscientious student and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”