Church services will be held in Portugal and Britain on Saturday to mark a year since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The three-year-old girl was last seen by her family on 3 May, 2007 in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal.

Her parents, who are official suspects in Madeleine's disappearance, will mark the day privately in Leicestershire.

Supporters have been asked to turn on lights at the time she went missing.

In a campaign entitled Light The Way Home, McCann supporters want candles to be lit and porch lights turned on between 9.30pm and 10pm to symbolise the time Madeleine went missing from her bed.

Everton, Madeleine's favourite football club, will switch on floodlights at its ground.

Parents Kate and Gerry McCann have carried out media interviews ahead of the anniversary, but are expected to mark the day with their twins.

They may attend a service of prayers for Madeleine and other missing children at Rothley's Anglican parish church of St Mary and St John.

A number of relatives - Mr McCann's brother John, his sister Trish Cameron, her husband Sandy, and Mrs McCann's cousin Michael Wright - will travel to Praia da Luz on their behalf. There they will attend an evening service in the Algarve village's church of Our Lady of Light.

The Archbishop of York has written a prayer for Madeleine to mark the anniversary.

Dr John Sentamu wrote: "Keep her safe and take away her fear and anxiety. May your holy angels guard and protect her. We pray that she may be reunited with those who love her. Give hope to all her loved ones and hear our cry for her safe return."



A supporter of the McCanns, Dr Sentamu has kept a candle burning for Madeleine at his palace in York during the last year.

Tourism strong

Meanwhile, the case, which attracted massive worldwide publicity, has not affected the number of Britons holidaying in the Algarve.

Despite retailers reporting anecdotally that trade has declined, tourism statistics show that the number of visitors actually rose sharply - from 1.9 million in 2006 to 2.2 million last year.

Antonio Pina, president of the Algarve Tourism Board, told the Jornal de Noticias: "Madeleine's disappearance is regrettable and sad, but it has not had a negative influence on Algarve tourism.

"There were half a dozen cancellations in the first days following the occurrence, and that is about all."

BBC News