Little Mary Shipstone was laid to rest during an emotional service in Northiam today (Friday).
St Mary’s Church was packed out with people wanting to pay their respects to the seven-year-old, who was tragically shot and killed by her father last month.
The service, conducted by the Reverend Rod White, included a reading of A Poem for Mary written by Liz Butt, the founder of Rye-based charity The Music Well, as well as a tribute by Mary’s music teacher Alison Barlow.
The service concluded with a private family committal in Beckley churchyard.
Mary’s mother Lyndsey Shipstone said: “It has been a month since our beautiful Mary was taken from us but the pain is still as fresh now as it was then.
“Mary was such a fun, bright, inquisitive little girl.
“Losing her so violently has left us in a state of trauma and grief.
“Her absence feels like a void that cannot be overcome.
“She was such a happy child and I hope the memory of her little smiling face will be what stays with everyone who knew her.
“She will never leave our thoughts but at the moment every day is a struggle for us as we try to come to terms with our grief.
“I would like to thanks my family and friends for all their support and the community for the way our neighbours have comforted us in our darkest hour.
“I will never forgot the kindness we have been shown over the last few weeks.
“I would also like to thank the media for giving us the time and space to grieve for Mary.
“We are still struggling with our loss and I would ask them to please continue to leave us to grieve in peace.”
The family has set up the Mary Shipstone Memorial Fund to remember the seven-year-old and to support The Music Well charity, which offers music therapy to children who have suffered trauma.
To donate to the memorial fund visit www.gofundme.com/ejpqc8.