THE FUNERAL of ‘much-loved’ Bell Green schoolgirl Sophia McDonald took place at Coventry Cathedral this afternoon.
The service began at 1.30pm with the St Laurence’s Primary School pupil arriving by horse-drawn hearse.
Mourners were asked to wear pink rather than black, while pallbearers carried Sophia’s pink Peppa Pig coffin into the Cathedral.
The seven year old was tragically killed when she was hit by a slow moving skip lorry in Wood End while she was trying to cross the road in October this year.
Her mother, Yvonne Clark, has said she is ‘not angry’ with the driver of the lorry.
Heartfelt floral tributes lined the pavement of Henley Road where the youngster was killed, paying their respects.
A statement from the family said: “Sophia’s family is overwhelmed and deeply grateful to the people of Coventry and particularly the Bell Green community for their wonderful support.
“They are so thankful to the emergency services (for whom special seats will be reserved in the cathedral) for their care and courage, and send special thanks to the gentleman who sat with Sophia.”
Addressing the congregation, Reverend Kathryn Fleming described Sophia as a little girl who was happy both when she was being pampered at the hairdressers and riding the scariest rides at Drayton Mannor; as one who made friends easily and one whose smile ‘lit up the whole room’ wherever she went.
Rev Fleming added: “We all wish there were no need for us to be here, because funerals and children really don’t belong together.
“We wish that things had turned out differently, but still it is important that we are here together today as we say thank you to God for all that was good in Sophia’s life and try together to support those who miss her most.
“Sophia – in your short time here, you made many friends and taught them a lot about love, about enjoying the moment, about making the most of each and every opportunity for fun and laughter.
“In your living you brought warmth and gladness.
“In your dying you have united a community as neighbours came together to mourn your loss and to work to make things better for those who love and miss you most.
“Perhaps that stronger community may be part of your legacy to this city.”