In a service described as ‘unique’ by Parish Priest Fr Michael McCullagh CM, the people of Mill Hill in North London came to pay their respects to local shopkeeper Vijay Patel, who was murdered in January.
Mr Patel was well known in the neighbourhood, and an informal shrine of flowers had grown outside the shop in which he worked. As his shop was next door to the local Catholic church, parishioners at the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate Church decided it would be fitting to host a memorial service for him there, open to the entire community regardless of religion or background.
Over two hundred members of the local community gathered in the church for the memorial service, which was held in February. Attending as a representative from the Diocese of Westminster was Bishop John Sherrington who has pastoral responsibility for the area. Bishop John stood alongside other faith leaders and local dignitaries to pay tribute to Mr Patel and to guide the congregation in reflection.