The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have thanked the public for their unstinting support at a prayer service on the seventh anniversary of her disappearance.
Kate and Gerry McCann were joined by around 100 well-wishers, friends and relatives for the low-key open-air service in the centre of Rothley, Leicestershire.
The half-hour service, conducted beside Rothley’s War Memorial, saw candles being lit for all children around the world who have been taken away from their parents against their will.
Madeleine, then aged three, went missing on May 3 2007, part-way through a family holiday in Portgual.
During the service, led by Rothley’s Anglican vicar Rob Gladstone, Kate McCann gave a reading adapted from the words of a song.
“Here we are again, and more significantly, here you are again,” she told those present.
“Having your support has made a huge difference, so thank you.”
Speaking after his wife, Gerry McCann expressed his family’s gratitude that the Metropolitan Police team investigating Madeleine’s disappearance was now moving on to a “very active” phase in their investigation.
“They are chipping away and obviously there is new evidence so we are going to continue to hope that we will get a happy outcome,” he said.