FAMILIES will get the chance to pay their respects to fallen MP Sir David Amess as plans are drawn up for a special service in Southend.

Preparations are under way for the service at St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell in the next few weeks.

Earlier this week it was announced Sir David’s funeral will be held at Westminster Cathedral on November 23.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, will hold the 10.30am service.

John Lamb, Tory Southend councillor and former mayor, said a Southend service will be held for the late MP, who died in a knife attack at a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh.


Mr Lamb said: “There will be a service for Sir David Amess and hopefully before the one in Westminster.

“We are still working it all out and it will be at St Mary’s Church which is considered to be the parish and borough church.

“It’s all still being arranged and it will be announced as soon as we can.

“I think it’s very important we do this because he was so loved and likes and people and the town needs to pay respects and come to terms with it.

“It will be for the family and the people and it will be a very sombre day.

“I think it would be nice to broadcast the Westminster service back to Southend and I think lots of people would want to attend too.”

Leigh resident and business owner Sara Welton said it was so important as many cannot attend the London service.

The owner of Sara’s Tea Garden in Leigh said: “I think it’s very important people can pay their respects in their home town.

“He was so well liked and as many people as possible will want to line the streets and say their goodbyes.

“I definitely think it’s good and I think lots of older people cannot make the journey to Westminster.

I would go to the service in Prittlewell.”

Ian Gilbert, Labour leader of Southend Council, said discussions are ongoing about how best to remember Sir David in the borough.

He said: “There are a number of matters that need to be carefully considered in relation to Sir David’s funeral, and how we can mark and respect that locally.

These are conversations that we will be having over coming days and weeks. Any announcements will be made as and when it is appropriate to do so, and most importantly following consultation with the family.