Cleo Smith search: Carnarvon school preparing to hold a church service for classmates
A Carnarvon school is preparing to hold a church service for classmates, teachers and families shattered by the disappearance of four-year-old Cleo Smith as they hope for her safe return.
Young Cleo should be laughing with friends on the playground and falling into the Term 4 school routine at St Mary Star of the Sea, but instead the major investigation into her disappearance has entered its 11th day.
Her school friends and the Carnarvon community have been left hurting, according to the parish priest.
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The little girl’s Catholic parish will open its church doors on Thursday evening to bring the community together for a prayer service.
“Members of the school and parish community will all be praying for the safe return of Cleo to her loving family,” the school said in a statement.
It will be led by members of the school and parish priest Father Steve Casey.
Fr Casey said people were feeling shock, anxiety and pain and vigils provided the community with a way to express themselves.
“People feel a sense of helplessness within themselves … like a pit in their stomach, hoping and praying that Cleo will be found.
People feel the need to come somewhere with other community members to support each other in hope and love.
Fr Casey said the people who could best help the young school children through the difficult time were their parents and teachers.
Students were due to attend a “Neon Disco” on Friday, set to be a night of fun for youngsters from kindergarten to Year 6.
But the event was cancelled as the devastated town attempts to grapple with the widespread impact of Cleo’s suspected abduction.
More than 100 heartbroken community members packed into the Church of Christ for a candlelit vigil on Sunday to share messages of hope for the bright-eyed girl’s family.
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