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Churches remember bin lorry victims

Victims of the Glasgow bin lorry crash have been remembered at Christmas services across the city.

Six people were killed and 10 more injured when the truck lost control in Queen Street on Monday.

Candles were lit and prayers were said for all those affected at church services on Christmas morning.

The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth of St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow said in his sermon: "People do ask me whether it is hard to speak of the love of God when difficult things happen.

"It is sometimes hard to find the right words but the truth is, the love of God coming to illuminate the darkest of times is what we always celebrate at Christmas, no matter what year we are in and no matter what has happened.

"The light comes into the world. That is the truth we gather here to proclaim right at the darkest time of year."

Four people remain in hospital following the George Square tragedy.

A 14-year-old girl, two women aged 18 and 64, and a 57-year-old man are all now in a stable condition, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said.

Christmas lights across the country were turned off last night as a mark of respect for the dead and injured, after 72,000 people signed up to a Facebook campaign asking participants to switch off their decorations at 9pm and hold a two-minute silence to reflect on the tragedy.

Glasgow church services have reportedly seen an increase in numbers this week.

Speaking after this morning's service, Mr Holdsworth said: " At each of our festival services people have been speaking of the sadness that has come to the city this Christmas.

"At every service people have been speaking to me about what it was like to be in Queen Street when the tragedy was unfolding.

"It is also significant that all the services that we've had this week have had increased numbers.

"People have been saying that they want to come together to pray and stand in solidarity with those who grieve and those who are traumatised. It is said that people make Glasgow and this Christmas we are once again seeing the people of Glasgow joining together, united in love for one another."

Yesterday the Archbishop of Glasgow told a memorial mass that he wept with a woman who saw her teenage daughter and both her parents die almost right in front of her.

Jacqueline McQuade is thought to have gone to withdraw money from a cash machine during a Christmas shopping trip when her 18-year-old daughter Erin McQuade and parents Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, all from Dumbarton, were fatally injured.

Primary teacher Stephenie Tait and tax worker Jacqueline Morton, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, from Edinburgh, were also killed when the council truck mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia told a 600-strong congregation at the city's St Andrew's Cathedral: "On the evening of the tragedy, I was privileged to be permitted to spend some time with one of the families who had been cruelly devastated by the incident.

"I was able to witness and share the grief and sadness of a mother and of a father for their daughter, and of two daughters for their mother and father.

"The distressed woman to whom I was speaking had been at the incident, she had seen her daughter and her own parents killed almost right in front of her. Can you imagine the horror? Can you imagine her sadness?

"I tried to console them and comfort them. We spoke and we cried and we were silent before the abyss of their loss and the random meaninglessness of what had happened."

Archbishop Tartaglia said the city had been transformed from one "eagerly and cheerfully preparing for Christmas into a city of sadness and mourning".

Police Scotland have made a fresh appeal for anyone with footage of the incident to send it to them.

They said a ''thorough and exhaustive'' investigation is under way and will continue throughout the festive period.

Anyone with video footage is asked to send it to georgesquareincident@scotland.pnn.police.uk.

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