On Tuesday 22nd October 2019 Dr Marcia Shakespeare MBE and Miss Beverly Thomas are taking part in a thanksgiving service at Aston Parish Church marking the relocation of a memorial for their teenage daughters, Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis, who were the innocent victims of a drive-by shooting in Aston in 2003.
Both the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and Bishop of Birmingham David Urquhart will be attending.
The mosaic memorial was designed by Paul Williamson, art teacher and member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, and is made up of tiles personalised by Letisha and Charlene’s families and local people.
The previous site of the memorial was part of a peace garden at St George’s Post 16 Centre in Hockley, formerly a Church of England school. Director of the centre, Bob Tyler had approached the family with the idea for the peace garden and together with Williamson created a space to remember Letisha and Charlene. In 2014 the St George’s charity went into liquidation and despite the Birmingham Diocesan Trust’s attempt to find someone to run the community hub building indefinitely, the Post 16 Centre site was eventually shut down and sold.
As part of the sale, the Diocese was very keen to preserve the memorial and took on the task of finding an appropriate new location for the centre piece of the memorial. With the approval of Marcia Shakespeare and Beverly Thomas, it has been installed into the floor of Aston Parish Church. Conservation work has been carried out to bring the memorial back to its original, vibrant condition.
The service will take place at Aston Parish Church, Witton Lane, Birmingham B6 6QA at 7.30pm this coming Tuesday.
photo courtesy of the Birmingham Mail