Prayers were said in memory of a family from Peterborough who were killed in a plane crash 20 years ago to the day another aircraft went down in Nepal last week.
On 28th September 1992 a Pakistan Airlines flight crashed at Kathmandu, killing 167 people including the Wilkins, a family-of-five from Peterborough.
In a cruel twist, 20 years later to the day, a plane leaving the same airport crashed, killing all 16 passengers and three crew, including seven Britons.
On Sunday, members of the congregation at Werrington Parish Church said prayers for the family Andrew (38), Helen (36), Hannah (10), Naomi (8) and Simeon (6) and those who died in the most recent aeroplane disaster.
The Reverend George Rogers, vicar of the church, said: “There are several members of the parish who were quite close to the family and we knew it was the 20th anniversary of the crash.
“It wasn’t prompted by the recent crash but we said prayers for those who died and their families as well.
“The family were going to Nepal to do missionary work and we have been looking at missionaries recently so it also became part of that.
“It is tragic on a human level but from a Christian perspective they were taken when doing God’s work and have gone to be with him.”
The Wilkins family was returning to the mountain country to continue mission work.
They first went out to Nepal in 1988 when United Mission to Nepal seconded Andrew to work as an engineer at a local power company.
He helped establish small hydroelectric schemes providing power for poor rural communities.
Helen was a qualified social worker and was planning to work with children at a hospital near where they lived in Kathmandu.
The family is now buried at the British Embassy Cemetery in Kathmandu.
Following their death it was decided to establish the Wilkins Memorial Trust.
The trust was set up to help develop communities in rural, isolated areas of the poverty-stricken country.
It focusses on four key projects; Community Based Rehabilitation Service (CBRS) for children with disabilities; Supporting the Education of Nepalese Young People (SENYP) by sponsoring a group of youngsters; Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA); and a Self-Reliant Centre (SRC) which runs health camps and health education courses in villages.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the family’s death, several members of the trust are in Nepal and visiting the projects.
For more information on work of the charity visit www.wmt.org.uk
Nepal was only open to westerners in the 1950s but was racked by a 10-year civil war from 1996.
Democracy was brought to the mountain-top kingdom in 2006 when a peace deal was struck with Maoist rebels and the monarchy was abolished following full elections in 2008.
Talks to complete the peace agreement have been ongoing and were due to be completed in May this year.
The country is geographically diverse with low-lying plains to the south and the world’s highest mountains in the north, including Mount Everest.
It is predominantly Hindu with strong links to Buddhism.