Grantham memorial service for drowned schoolboy Pierre Barnes
A memorial service celebrating the life of Grantham schoolboy Pierre Barnes, who drowned while on a family holiday on a French island, is being held on Monday.
Barrowby Church of England Primary School, where Pierre was a pupil before starting at The King's School in September, is organising the service at neighbouring Barrowby Church on behalf of the 12-year-old's family.
Headteacher Len Batey told granthampeople: "We have been liaising closely with Mr Barnes and the family, who want the service to focus on the children who knew Pierre.
"It will be a celebration of Pierre's life and of his contribution to our school.
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"The family has shared with us their photographs and anecdotes.
"The service will include a selection of bible and other readings and a number of adults, including myself and a member of Pierre's family, will be sharing our memories of Pierre and reflect on his life."
Lay preacher Kate Waghorn, who is also Barrowby CofE School's senior administrator, will be officiating at the memorial service.
Mr Batey has contacted all the secondary schools where Pierre's former classmates are now attending to invite them to the special service.
"Some older children, in years five and six, at this school and their parents have also been invited and, of course, other families from the school are welcome to attend if they wish," he added.
Former headteacher of Barrowby CofE School Sylvia West, who retired in September, will also be attending.
Mr Barnes called in at the school unexpectedly on Monday to discuss the possibility of arranging a memorial service and also offered to speak to pupils and staff at that morning's junior assembly.
Rev Peter Hopkins, vicar of Barrowby Church, said: "It was very emotional for everyone, but also a cathartic experience.
"A number of people shared their memories of Pierre, including Mr Barnes, and I closed the assembly with reflective prayer."
Pierre's funeral is being held later today at the same church where he was baptised, in a village south of Paris.
Pierre, who lived with parents Stephen and Florence and older siblings Zoe, Desmond and Clemence in Barrowby Road, disappeared on October 27th while cycling alone on the French island of Porquerolles.
The youngster's body was found in deep water on November 1st - about a mile from where search teams had earlier found his damaged bike and one of his shoes.