Grace Millane: Hundreds mourn British backpacker killed in New Zealand at her funeral

A British backpacker killed while in on her OE in New Zealand has been laid to rest.

Grace Millane arrived in New Zealand in late November in the second leg of a year spent backpacking around the world. She went missing on December 2, and her body was found a week later in a bush area of west Auckland.

The Essex 22-year-old's funeral was held overnight at Brentwood Cathedral in the UK. It included the hymn 'Amazing Grace' and a eulogy from her father.

Hundreds attended the service, which included a procession from her hometown Wickford, about 20km to the east. Many wore white ribbons, a symbol representing opposition to violence against women, The Sun reported.

The order of service was decorated with paintings by Ms Millane, a passionate artist, including one of two watercolour elephants previously posted on her Instagram, reports the BBC. 

Ms Millane was buried in the parish of Ramsden Bellhouse in a private ceremony.

Before the service, Father John Corbyn, who led the mass, paid tribute to Ms Millane's family and and recognised the pain they would be going through.

"Every child is a gift to their parents, but she was certainly a gift from God's grace and she very much showed in her bief life God's goodness and God's grace," he said, reports Metro.

"They are a very strong family, you can perceive a great deal of love and bonding and strength within that family... They have many friends who, I believe, help them."

Father Corbyn previously spoke out about Ms Millane following the announcement her body had been found.

"Her disappearance was bad enough, but this is very, very sad," he said in December.

Her brother Declan posted a photo of himself with Ms Millane on photo-sharing site Instagram.

Many responded to the Instagram post, sending their love to the Millane family.

"My love and thoughts are with you all as you prepare to farewell your much loved daughter, sister, neice, cousin and friend. Kia kaha (stay strong)," said one user.

Her alleged killer will appear in court on January 23, charged with murder.


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