Book of condolence opened in Birstall for Jo Cox

Rev Paul Knight of St Peter's Church, Birstall.
Rev Paul Knight of St Peter's Church, Birstall.
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The vicar of Birstall said the community is “stunned” after the death of Jo Cox as he opened a book of condolence.

More than 400 people packed into St Peter’s Church in the West Yorkshire village on Thursday night to pay their respects to the young Labour MP in a vigil.

On Friday, the Rev Paul Knight opened a book of condolence as church members provided tea and a place for contemplation.

The vicar said: “We wanted to give people the opportunity to pass on their sympathies for Jo, who was obviously so much liked in this area.

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“At this point people don’t know what to do.

“So we’re giving them the space and the opportunity to voice or express their concerns, and their disappointments and their hurt.”

He added: “I think for the most part people are just stunned. Shocked but stunned.

“I do detect a little bit of difference today as people wake up and are maybe thinking it was almost like a dream, like a TV show. But this morning it was reality. This has actually happened in our community.”

He said he knew Mrs Cox, who was “bubbly, vivacious, enthusiastic and passionate about helping the people of this area”.