Classmates' tributes at Colerne funeral for ten-year-old victim of ski tragedy (From Wiltshire Times)
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Classmates' tributes at Colerne funeral for ten-year-old victim of ski tragedy
Updated 5:49pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in Corsham
Friends, family and fellow pupils joined together at the Church of St John the Baptist, Colerne today, for the funeral of Jemima Prees.
The service for the ten-year-old, who was killed in a skiing accident in Austria last week, was led by her godfather Reverend Jonathan Sell, minister at Colerne Evangelical Church.
The village church was filled by friends of the Prees family, as well as members of Colerne Amateur Operatics Society, where Jemima was a keen participant, and staff and students from Calder House School.
Her father Tim and brother Barnaby, who had fought to save her after the accident, were among those carrying her wicker coffin, decorated with white roses, into the church. Her mum Karen and two elder sisters Annabel and Olivia, followed behind.
Members of the 1st Colerne Brownies formed a guard of honour at the entrance.
A reading was given of God’s Lent Child, by Frankie Isaac, while Jemima’s father read Romans 5 v 1-5.
Jemima’s headteacher at Calder House, Andrew Day, also gave a glowing tribute, praising Jemima’s warm, friendly nature and her eagerness in learning to read.
The congregation heard how Jemima was a keen member of many of the school’s clubs, including the Marble Club, and how she enjoyed dressing up for non-curriculum days.
Recorded tributes from classmates were played, where students from across the school paid tribute to Jemima, emphasising her friendliness and playful attitude, with one student describing her as “a caterpillar about to become a butterfly, ready to fly.”
Reverend Sell addressed the church, recalling his visit to Jemima’s mother in hospital when she was born, and her time as a member of the church's weekly Buzz youth club.
Following a rendition of Now Thank We All Our God and a blessing from Reverend Sell the coffin was taken out for burial in the churchyard, carried by Jemima's brother Barnaby and followed by her elder sisters Annabel and Olivia, as the church choir sang Edelweiss.
Collections were taken for Jemima’s Gift, the charity set up by the Press family in her name, which will provide opportunities for children in the arts, sport and theatre.
Following the burial an afternoon tea was held at Calder House School, where memories of Jemima were shared.
The schoolgirl's family have set up a charity in Jemima's memory, named Jemima's Gift, intended to help children make the most of opportunities in the arts, sport and education.
Donations to the Jemima's Gift fund may be made by clicking here or by post to Jemima's Gift c/o D J Bewley Funeral Directors, 15 Bank Street, Melksham SN12 6LE.