PA/ Lucie Blackman Trust/ Family Handout

Priest at Nora Quoirin's church tells Premier the teenager will be a missed part of the church family

Thu 15 Aug 2019
By Ruth Sax

The priest of the church that the teenager who died in Malaysia attended says she spent her life growing up in church and brought out love from the community.

Malaysian police have revealed that Nora Quoirin, who went missing while on holiday with her family, died from intestinal damage, probably caused by starvation and stress.

She had been on holiday with her parents when she went missing on Sunday 4th August. She was found dead on Tuesday.

Father Marcus Holden, the priest at St Bede's Roman Catholic church in Clapham Park, told Premier how the church had responded to the confirmation of her death: "People are obviously devastated and heartbroken because of this news but they are people of faith. Last night, they came together to find hope and strength in the Christian faith, which I think is very important at this time."

 

 

He explained how Nora grew up in the church, saying: "she has spent her life in this parish, she was baptised here, she made her communion here,"

"The Quoirin family are very much a part of the church and Nora attended mass every week.

"They are a really good family and that makes it even harder, because everybody knows the family, they are part of us and it makes the situation much more difficult.

Her Irish-French parents, Meabh and Sebastian, previously said they did not believe she would have wandered off alone and feared she had been abducted.

Fr. Marcus explained how devastating the news had affected the church: "It's hard and unimaginable to think of this kind of death at any time, but with the circumstances and it being so far away and the loss of her for so many days and now the details we hear of how she died, it makes it even harder."

He explained how Nora was a "very shy, but a lovely girl and a devout girl. She particularly loved her family. She had special needs, but often with a child like that, it brings out a lot of love from the community and I definitely recognise that and, especially in the last few days, we've seen an outpouring of love, which is a real positive thing to take away from all this."

 

 

Fr. Marcus said the whole church is praying will continue to support the family when they arrive back in the UK.

A book of condolence has been set up in the church, which has been open every day for people to come and pray since Nora disappeared.

"I think that it helps people to also manage their grief," Fr. Marcus said, "it will be a great comfort when her family finally return, so that they'll have all these messages of love and support."

He added: "It's a strong community and we're going to be there with the family. Above all with faith, because I don't think these situations can make any sense at all without faith. But we believe Nora's in the hands of our Heavenly Father, that does help a great deal."

He told Premier that people can pray for "The Lord's intercession - to give us strong faith to encourage and, above all, the Christian virtue of hope which sees beyond the immediate."

Fr. Holden continued: "It's hard to do that in these times which don't make any sense, but to see beyond it, is that view through the cross to the resurrection and that's what we need to do. We need that hope inside of ourselves at the moment."

The 15-year-old girl from London disappeared almost two weeks ago and her body was found beside a stream about 1.6 miles from the jungle resort they were staying in.

Malaysian Police said there was no suspicion the 15-year-old was a victim of foul play.

Nora died two or three days before she was found in an area that had previously been searched by rescuers.

 

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