Moving funeral of hanging victim Michael (12): PHOTOS

The funeral cortege arrives at Blackburn Cathedral.
The funeral cortege arrives at Blackburn Cathedral.

HUNDREDS of grief-stricken mourners filed into Blackburn Cathedral to say their final goodbyes to 12-year-old Michael Raven.

Gifted student Michael, of Longworth Avenue, Brunshaw, was found hanged in his bedroom on Monday, November 28th, by family members.

His death sent shockwaves through the town and his school, St Wilfrid’s Academy, Blackburn, where he was a Year 8 pupil.

Representatives from the school were among scores of mourners at the funeral this morning, led by the Dean, the Very Rev. Christopher Armstrong. Canon Andrew Hindley read the sermon.

Michael’s devastated parents, Susan and Graham Raven, paid tribute to their son in a heart-rending eulogy.

“Michael was a wonderful boy, perfect in our eyes. His smile and caring nature brought brightness to all who knew him and a blessing to us as his parents and his brother.

“Michael loved many things including reading and spent many happy hours in the school library and local library. His bedroom was full of books and he even made us put up extra shelves for his growing collection.

“Michael loved Merlin and Dr Who, especially the Christmas edition, which will be tough to watch this year. One touching tribute from a close family friend says simply: ‘I hope you get to ride through time with Dr Who and have great adventures’.

“He loved his brother Luke very much. Luke misses Michael very much and we ask God for a very special blessing on Luke.

“At this terrible time, we have been sustained by the wealth of love, support and prayer from people from all walks of life. Thank you from the depths of our hearts.”

The song “Tears in Heaven” was played during the service as well as hymns “Pie Jesu” and “Here I Am Lord”, before Michael’s coffin was led out to “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The service was followed by a burial at Burnley Cemetery.

Michael enjoyed going to the Autism Resource Centre in Briercliffe and playing board games including chess and Monopoly. He was also becoming an accomplished musician playing the tuba in Lancashire School’s brass ensemble alongside Luke who plays the trumpet.

The family’s eulogy ended with: “For Michael’s sake, love one another, be kind, hug, read lots of books and live your life to the full because you just don’t know. God Bless you Michael sweetheart.”