Thousands set to bid farewell to Jade

Thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the streets today to bid farewell to tragic reality television star Jade Goody.

The 'Big Brother' star’s funeral procession will make its way from where she grew up in Bermondsey, south east London, to her last home in Upshire, Essex.

Family and friends will then attend St John the Baptist Church, in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, for the funeral.

Publicist Max Clifford, who represented Goody, said the funeral would be “a very Jade Goody event”.

She will be buried at a private service after the funeral.

Goody died at home at the age of 27 on March 22 after losing a battle with cervical cancer.

The mother-of two married Jack Tweed, 21, at a ceremony in a hotel near Hatfield Heath, Essex, on February 22 after being told that she had only weeks to live.

Mr Clifford said he and Tweed would be among people paying tribute at the service.

He added: “I’m sure it will be a very emotional celebration and tribute to a very special young lady.

“I think Jade would want people to be laughing and crying and I’m sure they will be.”

“The whole service is very much the way Jade wanted it. It will be very much a Jade Goody event.

“People have been to the church and signed the book of remembrance, and there’s been letters and cards from all over the world as well as floral tributes.

“So it will be a big funeral (and) in many ways a celebration of someone (who has) really left her mark.”

The Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Eliza Mann, the leader of Southwark Council, Councillor Nick Stanton and Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey will pay their respects as the funeral cortege passes through the centre of Bermondsey.

Mr Hughes said: “We will join with thousands of people in paying our respects and sending our sympathy to Jade’s family and close friends.

“Jade was a Bermondsey girl and the local response shows the strong sense of community that still exists in our part of London.

He added that he intended speaking to Goody’s family about a lasting memorial.

“Tomorrow is not the day, but after the funeral, I will be happy to talk to the family about the best sort of memorial for Jade. My thoughts are something which reflects the tremendous amount of good Jade did in raising awareness among young women about cervical cancer would be appropriate,” he said.

“One idea could be the creation of a fund to support young people from London and Essex who want to train in raising awareness of healthy lifestyles.”

The service, which will be relayed on a giant screen, will be conducted by associate minister, The Rev Corinne Brixton.

The vicar of St James’s Church, Bermondsey, Rev Stewart Hartley, said Jade went to the local church school and Sunday school.

He said: “I’ve spoken to lots and lots of people who knew Jade and she was a local girl who made the best of life and of course at the end has been an inspiration to people.

“Several girls have said to me ’I’ve gone and had some tests done’ because Jade said they should.”

Mr Hartley said Jade appealed to ordinary girls.

He said: “I was watching the news before about when Michelle Obama went into the school in east London and wanted to be an inspiration and she said ’You’ve got a good school, you’ve got good brains, you can make a difference in the world’.

“Jade spoke to the girls who had dropped out of school or who had families young and she said ’There is a possibility, take your opportunities’.

“She was an inspiration and she was a local girl made good.”

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