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Memorial gift

PUBLISHED: 14:57 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 07 July 2010

IT is every parent's nightmare for their child to go missing.

And for 40-years, Jean Newing has been living with the pain of not knowing what happened to her son Steven, when he suddenly disappeared from his home in Fakenham, aged 11.

IT is every parent's nightmare for their child to go missing.

And for 40-years, Jean Newing has been living with the pain of not knowing what happened to her son Steven, when he suddenly disappeared from his home in Fakenham, aged 11.

Steven had gone out to play with friends on the morning of September 2, 1969, but when he had failed to return by teatime, the alarm was raised. Despite frantic searching by police, friends, and family, no body or clues to his fate were uncovered.

Tuesday would have been Steven's 50th birthday, and in a bid to celebrate his life rather than mourn the loss, his family held a thanksgiving service.

On Sunday, Mrs Newing, who now lives in Berkshire, presented

a silver communion ciborium (chalice) to St Peter and St Paul's church in Fakenham.

The chalice would have been a present to Steven, but Mrs Newing said she takes comfort that it will be used every Sunday and be a permanent memorial to him.

Mrs Newing, 73, spoke to the congregation, which included old friends of Steven and his brother Terry, sisters Debbie and Christine, and some of his cousins.

She said: “As I look around me now in this church, I see children he grew up with who are now married with children of their own. I look at my own grandchildren with wonder, as they are now older than Steven was when I last saw him. I can't help but think of what his life would be now. I want to remember him as a mischievous child, who was so full of life.

“Steven loved sport of any kind and was never happier than when playing football or riding his bike. He was also keen on fishing.

“One morning when he was just six, he and his older cousin, decided to catch their breakfast. The look of pride on his face when he came back with half-a-dozen fresh trout is something I will always treasure.”

After the service, family and friends gathered at a reception to recall their fond memories of Steven.

The church, where Steven attended Sunday school, already has a special prayer stand commissioned by Mrs Newing, in Steven's memory.

Anyone who may have information about Steven should contact Norfolk police on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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