Prayers for the Pope

CATHOLICS joined with members of other faiths throughout Ipswich today in prayer and in sadness as millions across the world marked the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

CATHOLICS joined with members of other faiths throughout Ipswich today in prayer and in sadness as millions across the world marked the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Church services were rearranged to allow congregations to watch the funeral, which began at 8am GMT, while other services were planned to allow Suffolk residents to pay their own respects.

One mass was arranged at St Mary's Catholic Church in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, for 7.30pm tonight for the repose of the pope's soul.

Parishes throughout the area will come together for that service.

Father Adrian Gates of St James Catholic Church, Landseer Road, Ipswich, said: "There is a sense of loss throughout the Church but we are also glad that his suffering is now over.

"We are all praying for him.

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"We have cancelled the 10am mass so that we can all watch the funeral on television."

Father Gates said tonight's sung mass, which will be held as a normal funeral, would bring together the parishes of Ipswich, Woodbridge, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe.

He said: "He has been our spiritual leader for 26 years. A man who has given a high profile to the Catholic Church.

"We are now assessing all he has done."

Reverend Geoffrey Clemants of All Saints Sutton C of E Church in Church Lane, Shottisham, said special mention would be made of his death in a service today.

He said: "There is the sense that a good pope has died.

"The people in the church are also relieved for him as he was suffering a lot."

Reverend Rod Corke from St Mary The Virgin Anglican Church in Walton added: "We have lost a great inspirational leader. We will join with our Catholic brothers and sisters in praying that the new Pope will take up the mantle in the same way.

"I'm very grateful for the leadership he gave.

"I feel sad but I know that he is with his father in heaven."

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