Dozens of people attended a vigil this evening to pay their respects to Sir David Amess.

The Southend West MP was stabbed to death while holding a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church around midday. 

Essex Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder but say counter terrorism experts are now leading the investigation.

Around 80 people were at St Peter's Church in Eastwood this evening to attend a vigil to remember Sir David. 

Father Jeffrey Woolnough led the service and told the congregation it was a liturgy he “did not expect to be leading today”.

He went on to say: "Have you ever known Sir David Amess without that happy smile on his face? Because the greeting he would always give you was always that happy smile.

“He carried with him that great east London spirit of having no fear and being able to talk to people and the level they’re at.

"Not all politicians I would say are good at that."

A photo of Sir David was laid at the front of the church and remained their during the service.

Father Woolnough retold a story to the congregation in which he had first met Sir David.

He said: "I was asked to give a sermon at Southend High School for boys.

"Beforehand there was coffee in the headmaster’s study and I was chatting to this man – I had no idea who he was – and someone came up and said, ‘Do you know who you’re speaking to? It’s David Amess’ – and?

“When you can speak to your MP and you can talk and get on like a house on fire, that’s when you can talk to them later about things that are important to your area.

“What happened to Sir David today, what can we say? But he died doing the thing he loved, meeting his constituents, his local people.

"He was old school in that respect but still knew how to enjoy probably the most boring things. His great gift, great courage comes from his upbringing.”

Father Woolnough led a moment of silence in memory of Sir David, before closing with the words “We don’t have the words tonight.

"Dear Sir David, rest well.”