The family of murdered teacher Ann Maguire and all those affected by her death have been consoled by the kindness of people around them and around the world, a congregation was told today.
Deacon Sean Quigley included the family of the 15-year-old boy charged with killing the Spanish teacher, 61, in his homily at Corpus Christi Church in Leeds which is attached to Corpus Christi Catholic College where Mrs Maguire spent 40 years teaching.
The Catholic Diocese of Leeds had previously written to around 90 churches urging them to pray for Mrs Maguire, who was stabbed in class, during services today.
Mr Quigley, a retired teacher at the college who knows the Maguire family, told the congregation: "Ann's family have said they have been consoled by the messages they have received and by the flowers at the school fence, which by Friday had reached all the way to the Church, causing a member of the media to comment that it was like the Holy Spirit linking College and Church.
"The school, staff and pupils, have been consoled by messages from around the world and by many gifts of flowers, and also of food and books.
"The family of the young man involved also have been consoled in their great distress by the messages of love they have received.
"Many people in this community, from across the city and beyond have been consoled by being able to come into the sacred space of Corpus Christi Church where they have been received by volunteers who have generously given their time to enable the Church to be kept open, sometimes till nine o'clock in the evening.
"People have driven here from as far away as Wigan and been consoled by being close to Ann's school and in a church where she sang, played her guitar and led the school choir at Mass.
"As well as pupils past and present and parents, teachers who worked with Ann, as long as 30 years ago, have been here and teachers who never knew her have come with messages of sympathy from their schools."
A book of condolence has also been opened at the cathedral in Leeds for those who want to express their sympathies.
A 15-year-old boy is in custody charged with mother-of-two Mrs Maguire's murder.