Prayers for Madeleine McCann were said in churches in England and Portugal on the first anniversary of her disappearance on Saturday. In his blog, Gerry McCann wrote: "We would like to thank everyone, of all faiths, who has prayed for Madeleine over the last year. The Helping to find Madeleine group have also organised a 'lighting the way home for Madeleine' event where, they will release lanterns in Rothley around the time she went missing. Others will light a candle and we greatly appreciate the support and symbolic gestures. The research we have done this year has encouraged us to believe that there is a very good chance Madeleine is alive. Ernie Allen, president of NCMEC for the last 25 years, has reiterated that and the fact there are a number of scenarios in which Madeleine could be alive and well. We just need to find her. We have spent most of the last three days promoting our new hotline number +4 845 838 4699 (calls are charged at local rate) and our e-mail addresses for information: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com . The Anglican Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, wrote a special prayer to mark anniversary. The Prayer reads: Father God, We pray for Madeleine McCann. 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 We offer our prayer in the name of the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen. In a statement on his website releasing the prayer, Dr Sentamu renewed his call for efforts to be re-doubled in finding Madeleine: "A year ago today Madeleine McCann was abducted from her bed in Portugal. I ask that all of us redouble our efforts to pray for her safe return. Here at Bishopthorpe Palace, prayers have been said daily for her, and a candle burns in hope near a poster of Madeline. As the poster of a year ago says: 'look into my eyes'. May we each look and not turn away." The Archbishop has previously spoken out in strong support of Gerry and Kate McCann and has criticised the media for their coverage of the case. Writing in The Sun Newspaper in September 2007 the Archbishop said: "If all the energy put into speculating about Gerry and Kate was instead dedicated to finding Maddie, who knows where we might be right now? "Speculation will not help. Evidence and witnesses will. Finding Madeleine must again be the priority and focus of the police and of each of us. :Our focus must again be upon the love of the parents for their lost daughter, for their hope that they may one day be reunited with her and for their faith that she is still alive. "These must be our watchwords - faith, hope and love. For as St Paul once wrote, "in the end it is these three which remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." For more information on the campaign see: http://findmadeleine.org.uk/
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