DOZENS of strangers attended the funeral for an asylum seeker whose death left an orphaned 10-year-old boy in Springburn.

Around 40 people, including local residents, representatives from the local community council and a primary school, attended the service at Springburn Parish Church to pay their respects to 'Ana' on Friday.

The 35-year-old translator, who was born and raised in Georgia, a former Soviet republic on the border of Europe and Asia, died after a long illness at the age of 35.

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Springburn Church minister Rev Brian Casey was asked to organise the funeral by the headmaster of Ana's son's school.

The future of the 10-year-old, who has lived in Glasgow since he was three, is uncertain as his mum was waiting the outcome of an appeal for asylum.

Mr Casey and Father McGrath have set up an appeal to raise money to support the youngster and have raised £700 so far.

Rev Brian Casey, said it was “heart-warming” and a true measure of local community spirit that so many people turned out to express love, faith and prayers for her son, who was described as “the centre of her life”.

He 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.

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“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.

“It was heartwarming to see so many local people attend to show support for a grieving family,” he said.

“Despite its problems, Springburn has a very strong community and we can still come together and support people in times of need.

“I am a chaplain at Ana’s son’s school and was asked if I could help give him some kind of closure because his mother’s body is being sent back to Georgia to be buried and he wouldn’t have been able to attend the funeral.

“I contacted my colleague Father McGrath and we worked together to bring the faith community of Springburn together to celebrate the life of Ana.”

Mr Casey said it was one of the “hardest” funerals he has ever conducted because people of the Orthodox faith are much more outgoing in the way they grieve.

“We did our best to honour the Orthodox Church’s traditions which is somewhere between the Church of Scotland and Catholic Church liturgically,” he added.

“It was an emotional day but we have given the family a chance to grieve properly and I hope we can support them on an ongoing basis.”

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Mourners, who also included members of the Georgian community in Glasgow, held lit candles while one of Ana’s favourite songs, Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, was played against a backdrop of photographs of the Ana, who was fluent in four languages, and her son.

Father McGrath said he was so moved by Ana’s story that he did not hesitate to try and help.

He added: “It was a great honour to be invited to help the family because some of the symbols we use in the Catholic faith resonate more with them."

“In circumstances of when people feel marginalised, when there is a limitation of language, it is important to make people feel they are part of a wider Christian family.

“As my personal friendship with Brian grows, we are working more and more together and encourage people to take part in events in both churches.

“Coming together for any occasion and praying together is the deepest expression of any Christian, no matter what denomination.”

The Church of Scotland has spoken out against the growing scandal of funeral poverty for many years and is campaigning for an end to the postcode lottery of burial and cremation charges and the introduction of state assistance for those particularly in need.