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Strangers gather for funeral of asylum seeking mother

The 35-year-old's death in Glasgow leaves her ten-year-old son an orphan.

Funeral: Ana's body will be flown back to Georgia.
Funeral: Ana's body will be flown back to Georgia. Church of Scotland

Strangers have attended the funeral of an asylum seeker whose death has left her ten-year-old son an orphan.

The Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Glasgow arranged a Georgian Orthodox-style service for Ana, who died on February 4.

The funeral at Springburn Parish Church on Friday was attended by 40 people.

Parish minister Brian Casey said: "Ana's death is tragic and very sad but we were so glad to be able to give that Glasgow welcome to her family.

"Irrespective of people's faith or creed, we are here to serve them in the way Christ served people of the Jewish faith or no faith."

The future for Ana's son is uncertain because his mother was awaiting the outcome of an appeal for asylum when she died.

Ana - not her real name - was born and raised in Georgia and moved to Glasgow with her son seven years ago.

The 35-year-old worked as a translator and spoke four languages fluently. Her death followed a long illness.

'Marking a death and remembering a life with dignity and respect are things which we would all hope for ourselves and our loved ones.'
Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees co-ordinator David Bradwell

David Bradwell, co-ordinator of Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, added: "Marking a death and remembering a life with dignity and respect are things which we would all hope for ourselves and our loved ones.

"It is sad to think of young people dying, especially when they are alone or away from family support nearby.

"The role of the church to offer compassion and understanding is so important.

"The church will ask no questions about immigration status or ability to pay, but offers a loving community of prayer and support showing our commitment to respecting dignity in death as well as life."

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