Mourners remember 'caring' Georgia
Published 14/06/2013 | 16:47
Family, friends and teachers attending the funeral of a murdered 17-year-old have paid tribute to the "bright and caring" young woman they knew.
About 800 mourners turned out for a church service celebrating the life of Georgia Williams in her home town of Wellington, Shropshire.
Georgia left her parents' house on May 26, telling them she was going to see friends - and they never saw her alive again. The teenager's body was discovered in woodland near Wrexham, North Wales, a few days later.
Rev Mark Ireland, vicar of All Saints' Church in Wellington, addressed mourners saying: "We come not so much to mourn a death, but to celebrate a life."
Her family had asked people attending the funeral to wear bright colours, reflecting Georgia's personality and the spirit of the service, with many following that advice.
Among the mourners were the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police David Shaw, and other senior officers from the force where Georgia's father Steven is a serving detective.
Chay Davies, her head teacher at Ercall Wood Technology College - where she was head girl - said "her genuine willingness to help people shone through" when she was interviewed for the position. He said she could always be relied on to get involved and told how at a charity drag day she pulled off a "very convincing swagger" while walking along the catwalk, sporting "a painted-on beard" and "loving every minute", drawing laughter from the mourners.
Mr Davies called on people "to take inspiration from Georgia" and be judged not by their wealth or possessions but "by the quality of the relationships we have with the people around us". "Today, our whole community shows how valued Georgia is."
As the service ended, Georgia's father Steven helped to bear the coffin, made of wicker, to the waiting hearse and away to a private cremation service flanked by police outriders on motorcycles.
Jamie Reynolds, 22, of Avondale Road, Wellington, has been charged with her murder. He is in custody and will next appear at Stafford Crown Court on September 6.