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Murdered Coulsdon student Meredith Kercher was laid to rest in a moving service in Croydon this morning.

Hundreds of family and friends gathered at Croydon Parish Church, in Church Road, for the Church of England service.

Her body was then taken to Croydon Cemetery for a private burial.

The family, from Fairdene Road, Old Coulsdon, arrived in two cars following the Rowland Brothers hearse.

Meredith's parents John and Arline and sister Stephanie made their way from the first car into the church at around 10.50am.

Stephanie was carrying a single white rose with her at all times.

Flowers and tributes to Meredith adorned the hearse and mourners brought bouquets of flowers as they entered the church.

One message read: "Why such a tragic waste? Rest in peace Mez and may your smile be infectious in heaven as it was on earth, Danny."

Also among the flowers was a basket of flowers signed 'From the City of Perugia' and an arrangement of yellow flowers spelling out 'Mez'.

Canon Colin Boswell, who conducted the service, said: "It is important at a funeral like this that we try to remember things that are happy and good or else only evil and non creative things take over. We have to try and rise above that."

The choir from Meredith's former school, Old Palace, sang in the church and U2's With Or Without You - one of the student's favourite songs - was played.

Her sister Stephanie read a poem she had written and her brother, Lyle, made a speech about his sister's life.

Canon Boswell added: "It was a very moving service, there was some laughter as her brother talked about things in her life which were not sad."

The congregation sang hymns including For the Beauty of Earth and Abide By Me, while her other brother John read a passage from Revelation 21 1:7.

Meredith was living and studying in the Italian town when she was killed.

The 21-year-old was found semi-naked with her throat cut in a house in Perugia on November 2.

Meredith's American housemate, Amanda Knox, 20, and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are being held in custody in Italy.

Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, was arrested in Germany and has been extradited to Italy to face charges in connection with the former Old Palace School girl's murder.

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