Slain British MP hailed as modern day good samaritan

Floral tributes left in memory of Labour MP Jo Cox in Birstall on June 19, 2016 (AFP Photo/Oli Scarff) (AFP)

Birstall (United Kingdom) (AFP) - British MP Jo Cox was on Sunday remembered as a "21st century Good Samaritan" at a service of thanksgiving in the village where she was murdered.

Three days after the 41-year-old MP died in a shooting and stabbing attack in the northern English town of Birstall, parishioners at St Peter's Church prayed for her widower Brendan and two young children, Lejla and Cuillin

"Her humanity was powerful and compelling and we would do well to recognise her as an amazing example -- a 21st century Good Samaritan," the Reverend Paul Knight told the congregation.

"Jo was someone who went out of her way to help others," he said.

Before entering parliament a year ago, Cox spent a decade working for Oxfam in New York, Brussels and war zones as the organisation's head of policy and of humanitarian campaigning.

At Westminster she co-chaired a cross-party parliamentary group on Syria.

"I didn't know what she was like as a girl but she grew into a fervent advocate for the poor and oppressed," Knight said.

"And though she must have been angry at times about what she saw here and around the world -- those places she visited and worked -- she seemed to me, at least, to be one who could fight with a passion and a disarming smile."

After reading the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible, Knight said: "There is much wickedness in our world. But thank God there is so much goodness."

Parishioner Leif Wickes led the prayers for the MP's children who he said were "too young to understand the horror of what happened but old enough to suffer from the loss of their mother".

"As they grow up and hear about Jo's life and achievements, may they be inspired to follow her example and serve the world's underprivileged in their turn," he said.

Knight also remembered the bravery of pensioner Bernard Kenny, 77, who remains in hospital after he suffering injuries when he tried to come to Cox's aid during the attack.

Wellwishers meanwhile gathered in the village to look at the many floral tributes left in the MP's memory.

Tommy Mair, 52, from Birstall, has been charged with her murder and is due to appear at England's central criminal court on Monday.