Madeleine McCann's school keeps a spot open for her and continues to pray for her return
Madeleine McCann has been a household name for over ten years now. Three-years-old at the time, Madeleine was holidaying with her parents Kate and Gerry and her twin siblings in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal when she vanished from her bed on the 3rd May 2007. This sparked what is largely considered to be the most heavily reported missing-person enquiry in modern history.
Madeleine and her two-year-old twin siblings had been left asleep in the ground floor apartment at 20:30, while her parents and their friends ate at an on-site restaurant located 55 metres away from the children. Kate and Gerry routinely checked in on them throughout the evening, until Kate McCann realised that Madeleine was missing around 22:00.
After years of speculation and doubt thrown at Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, the vast majority of the public have lost faith in Madeleine ever safely returning home. But the school that Madeleine was due to attend for secondary schooling, Dr Lisle College has never given up hope; it continues to keep a place open for her and students still pray for her return.
Madeleine would now have been 14 years old and preparing to take her GCSE's in the upcoming academic year.
Despite being missing for over ten years now, the family's local vicar, Rev. Rob Gladstone has stated that a local Catholic academy, De Lisle College in Loughborough, Leicestershire continues to hold out hope for her safe return and have even kept a space open for her.
Speaking to the Sun, Rev. Rob Gladstone said:
"She would be going into Year 10 and they welcome her return.
There is no evidence Madeleine has died. We encourage Kate and Gerry in faith, hope, strength, perseverance and courage."
Madeleine twin siblings, Sean and Amelie currently attend the academy. But the McCann's have a further connection to the school, Madeleine's great uncle was once headmaster at De Lisle College.
A family friend of the McCann's added, "it is both touching and fitting that the ‘big’ school where she would have gone holds a desk for her."
De Lisle College is located eight miles from the McCann family home in Rothley, Loughborough.
Kate and Gerry McCann have recently spoken out about their desire to protect their 12-year-old twins from the media's obsession with their family and their continual taunts about their alleged involvement in the disappearance.
In a televised interview made to mark the ten-year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, Kate stated that the media's involvement was "shocking, striking and quite hard to get your head round." On such comments, she added "why would someone in a position of ignorance write that, add to someone's upset? It is so awful and upsetting and it becomes more of a talking point."
The 49-year-old told BBC's Fiona Bruce that she worries about her twin children, Sean and Amelie and has consequently "tried to educate [them] a little bit" acknowledging that "it's not just [her and Gerry] that have fallen victim to the downside of social media."