he associate rector conducting the funeral of a nine-year-old girl who was stabbed in the street acknowledged the “real and valid” feeling of anger over her death.
Lilia Valutyte’s white coffin, decorated with colourful butterflies, was taken to St Botolph’s Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, on Friday by a horse-drawn carriage, followed by her family and friends.
Mourners carried bouquets of flowers into the church, while pallbearers wore bright pink ties – matching the pink feathers on the heads of the white horses.
Lilia was found with a stab wound to the chest in Fountain Lane, Boston, at about 6.20pm on Thursday July 28.
The former pupil at Boston Pioneers Academy and Carlton Road Academy was confirmed dead at the Boston Pilgrim Hospital after the incident.
Deividas Skebas was remanded into custody at Lincoln Crown Court on August 1 charged with her murder.
He is yet to enter a plea to the charge.
During Friday’s funeral service, the Reverend Jane Robertson told the congregation of around 100 mourners that she had met a number of people who had expressed their sadness at Lilia’s death.
She said: “We have come here today to remember Lilia.
“We have come to give thanks for her life – her life that was taken so suddenly from her.
“I have met many, many people who have come into this place to express… how they feel about the tragic death of Lilia.”
The Rev Robertson said people had spoken of how they felt “powerless to help her family”.
She added: “Let’s transform lives because of what we feel today.”
There were two displays at the front of the church.
One had floral tributes in the shape of butterflies positioned next to a framed picture of Lilia.
The other had drawings laid out on a table, with one bearing the words “We will miss you” accompanied by the name “Lilia” written in the centre of a heart.
There were also two drawings depicting Lilia as an angel, as well as a further photo of her next to the words: “You will be missed and we will keep loving you.”
Collection plates were placed at the back of the church for people to contribute towards a memorial to Lilia.
The 30-minute service included two hymns, a Bible reading and a number of prayers.
The Rev Robertson told the congregation that the feeling of anger was “real and valid”, adding: “I can see there is such sadness and grief.”
Lilia’s family and close friends left the service to Shine A Light by Bryan Adams before making their way to a private burial.
Concluding the service, the Rev Robertson told mourners: “We will be changed forever because of that child.
“Lilia, we are glad you were here.
“You have changed our lives – rest in peace, little one.”