Huge turn out for Megan as loved ones say last goodbye to 'sunshine' girl

Mourners gather outside Megan Bell's funeral.
Mourners gather outside Megan Bell's funeral.
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Hundreds of people packed out a church as they celebrated the life of a 17-year-old girl.

Megan Bell, from Seaham, died at the T in the Park music festival in Perthshire, Scotland, on Friday, July 8.

The photo of Megan Bell, 17, from Seaham, on the order of service for her funeral.

The photo of Megan Bell, 17, from Seaham, on the order of service for her funeral.

The former St Mary Magdalen Primary and St Anthony's Catholic Girls' Academy pupil had been due to start her apprenticeship as a hairdresser today.

Instead, there was standing room only as her friends and family paid tribute to the "beautiful girl who loved life" at St Mary Magdalen RC Church in Harbour Drive in her home town.

Mourners entered the church to the sounds of My Girl by the Temptations, before Fr Frank McCullagh led an emotional service which was filled with tears, as well as smiles, as her school friends, cousin and grandmother in recalled Megan's zest for life and how she had become close to many as she grew up.

A eulogy read by Mr McCullagh spoke of Megan's early years, being the first born to parents Chris and Lisa, before she was followed by sisters Maddy and Jenny and brother Josh.

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

He also told of how she was so loved by grandparents Jenny and Eddie Bell, and her mum's parents Hughie and Alison.

Jenny, a town and county councillor and mayoress of Durham City, as her husband and fellow councillor husband is mayor, as well as chairman of Durham County Council, began her speech to the church after Over the Rainbow was played, as Megan had loved the Wizard of Oz as a child.

Jenny read the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine, speaking of how Megan had been her's, and urged those in the church, especially the younger people and her friends to look after each other.

She said how if anything could be gained from the awful tragedy, that it should be that they "stay safe and look after each other" as "Megan's legacy."

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

She also thanked people for their messages of support which had "overwhelmed" the family as people rushed to offer their condolences, as well as those who attended the balloon released and candle vigil on the seafront last Thursday, "the like of which we have never seen before."

Readings were also given by Jessica, who had become friends with Megan in class one of primary school, before another mate Olivia read a poem Megan had written at the age of eight, when she was in year 4, about a robin.

Her cousin Stacey then read a poem written by the villagers of Braco, which is close to where Megan died.

Megan, her family and the congregation left the church to the sounds of I Was Here by Beyonce, one of her favourite artists.

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

She was laid to rest at Seaham Cemetery, with a reception held at Seaham Town Hall, where Megan had worked in its cafe.

It closed for the day as its staff attended the service.

Thanks were also given during the ceremony to neighbours and family friend Laura Ward for their help.

Laura has led a fundraising campaign to help her family, with night to be held on Friday already a sell out.

Donations can be made here.

The Echo attended the service with permission from Megan's family.

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell

Funeral of Megan Bell