Memorial Service For Ding Family

12 July 2011, 10:32 | Updated: 12 July 2011, 11:48

Family and friends have paid tribute to a family of four, stabbed to death at their home in April.

A memorial service took place on Monday 11 July 2011 at the Kingsthorpe Baptist Church, Northampton.  It included tributes and readings.

Jeff Ding, his wife Helen and their two daughters, Alice, 12 and Xing, 18, (pictured) were found dead at their home in Wootton, Northampton on the royal wedding day - Friday 29 April 2011.

Relatives of theirs were at the service, including some who arrived in the country a week earlier from China and America.

The main suspect over the Ding family's killings, businessman Anxiang Du, 52, has been missing since 29 April.  Du was the former business partner of Helen and has been involved in a legal dispute with her over their Chinese herbal remedy business.


During the service, Colin Booth, Jeff's colleague from Manchester University, spoke of the tragic loss of the popular lecturer whom students dubbed 'the nicest lecturer ever'.

A touching tribute followed to Xing from Sarah Dixon, Head of Northampton High School, which included a reading of ‘Death is nothing at all’ by Canon Henry Scott-Holland.

Tony Downing, Priniciple of Caroline Chisholm School, lead a tribute to Alice who he said was "vibrant, talented and kind". This was followed by a moving recorded tribute from Alice's fellow pupils.

Jeff's brother then paid tribute to the family which included pieces from the brother's mother and father.

Order of memorial service

- People arrive at church to Chinese music
- Pianist plays The Lord's My Shepherd
- Music by Rankin Quartet

- Introduction and opening prayers led by Reverend
- Hymn: The Lord's My shepherd
- Tribute to Jeff by colleagues
- Tribute to Helen
- Music by Rankin Quartet

- Tribute to Xing
- Reading for family
- Tribute to Alice
- DVD clip of Xing and Alice at Royal Albert Hall

- Address by Reverend
- Hymn: Lord of all happiness
- Reading for family from friend and neighbours
- Final blessing
- Music by Rankin Quartet

Reading by Sarah Dixon, Head of Northampton High School
Death Is Nothing At All - Canon Henry Scott-Holland

I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you: whatever we were to each other that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near just round the corner.
All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before - only better, infinitely happier and forever.

Reading by Jason Horsley, on behalf of the community

We can shed tears that they have gone
Or we can smile because they have lived.
We can close our eyes and pray they will come back
Or we can open our eyes and see all they have left.
Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see them
Or we can be full of love and friendship that we have shared.
We can turn our backs on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
We can remember them and only that they have gone
Or we can cherish their memory and let it live on.
We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs
Or we can do what they’d want; SMILE, Open our eyes,
LOVE and go on

Northamptonshire Police are still keen for information to help them trace Anxiang Du.  Anyone who can help is asked to call the Incident Rooms for Operation Nene on 0800 096 1011 or 0207 158 0126 or Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.