The family of Sir David Amess comforted each other as they read messages on floral tributes left outside the church where the MP was stabbed to death.

Sir David’s widow, Julia, wiped tears from her eyes on the visit to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on Monday morning.

The group of six, accompanied by the church’s minister Clifford Newman, spent more than 15 minutes looking through the messages that people had written.

They put their arms around one another and held hands at points.

Sir David Amess death
Julia Amess the widow of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, holds one of their daughters as they view flowers and tributes left for her late husband at Belfairs Methodist Church (Aaron Chown/ PA)

The group later bowed their heads and formed a semi-circle around the churchman as he gave a short private address.

Mr Clifford hugged Lady Julia afterwards, speaking to other members of the group and shaking their hands as they departed.

They left without speaking to reporters.

Large piles of tributes – including flowers, heart-shaped balloons and framed pictures – have been left on either side of the front door of the church where Sir David was killed on Friday.

Sir David Amess death
Clifford Newman, minister of Belfairs Methodist Church, hugs Julia Amess, the widow of Conservative MP Sir David Amess (Aaron Chown/ PA)

The father-of-five, who leaves behind four daughters and one son, was fatally attacked while meeting constituents.

The family of Sir David, 69, said in a statement released through the Metropolitan Police on Sunday that they were “absolutely broken” but “will survive and carry on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man”.