Published: 06:00, 22 July 2021
| Updated: 16:55, 22 July 2021
The funeral for PCSO Julia James has been held at Canterbury Cathedral after hundreds of people paid their respects during a procession this morning.
Julia was tragically found dead on a country footpath near Ackholt Wood, about 400 metres from her home in Snowdown, on the afternoon of April 27.
The service was streamed from Canterbury Cathedral
Hundreds of people lined the streets as the funeral procession passed by
The service, for which those attending have been invited to wear an item of blue clothing as a nod to Julia's work as a police community support officer with Kent Police, began at 12pm.
Gavin Moss, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Kent Police remembered some of Julia's career in the force and said: "Words can not do her justice and we can not be more proud to have had Julia as a colleague."
Her daughter Bethan Coles bravely read a poem for her mother.
Julia's son, Patrick Davis, gave a moving tribute, describing his mum as an incredibly compassionate person.
"Mum was the most amazing woman who would go to the end of the earth to help anyone," he said.
"She had the most infectious laugh and a huge heart. I am so pleased I had the pleasure to call you my mother.
"Mum would make a joke out of anything and her sense of humour was amazing.
"Mum would light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in, as she entered she would glow with positivity, love and warmth.
"She truly was an amazing mum, wife, daughter and nan.
"I love you mum, and goodbye for now - but not forever."
Close friend Tammy Winstone, who knew Julia from when they were children, also read a eulogy.
"Julia had a zest for life," she said. "I am blessed to be one of her best friends
"She had the most wicked sense of humour and always left me with a smile."
She spoke of Julia's love for her "wonderful" husband, Paul.
"I feel certain that before she was taken from us she was at the peak of happiness and health because of their love for each other, and she will be there guiding him, loving him," she said.
Addressing Julia's children, she said: "Bethan and Patrick, you have an unbreakable bond with your mum. She adored you both and would be so proud of how you've coped during this time."
To Julia, she added: "We promise never to let your light fade. We will keep you alive in the minds and hearts of everyone."
Julia's friend Nikky Potter also spoke at the service.
She described her as "the most amazing mum, wife, daughter, sister, nanny, auntie, friend and colleague" who was "fiercely protective" of those close to her.
"Although she was tiny in stature, Julia was very strong," she said.
"She was a person who saw life through a lens of love, loyalty, and always that touch of mischief.
"She really was just a true ray of sunshine.
"Julia, you are my diamond. You will never, ever lose your value. You will always shine bright, and diamonds are forever. There is now a massive hole in all our lives, that Julia is no longer with us. But I'm going to fill mine with all the amazing, happy, wonderful and cherished memories we amassed together, and no-one can take those from me.
"Our time together has been cut short, but it's definitely not a goodbye from me. It's just a ta-ra for now, until we meet again.
"Rest easy my angel. Thank you for being my beautiful friend. It was an absolute honour."
Before the service, an extended funeral procession was held in Aylesham for members of the public to bid a final farewell to the much-loved PCSO.
It travelled through Julia's neighbouring village of Aylesham en-route to the Cathedral.
The procession made its way through Dorman Avenue South, before continuing around the Market Square and travelling out of the village via Dorman Avenue North.
Hundreds of people - including PCSOs and police officers, along with many villagers who knew Julia and her family personally - lined the streets as the cortège passed by.
Dozens of floral tributes were also left in Aylesham market square, in Julia's honour.
Posting on Facebook, Julia's daughter Bethan Coles wrote last week: "It would be lovely to see the community come together once more; so if you wish to gather in the Market Square or line the streets for a final farewell please do so."
David Prime and Donna Monger pay their respects to Julia
"The Ratling (Aylesham & District Social Club) will be open for those wishing to have a drink in my Mum’s memory and have kindly offered to open early and show the service on their big screen should anyone wish to see it," she continued.
"If anyone wishes to send flowers then we would love to see them placed in the Market Square as they were before."
St Finbarr's Church in Aylesham also opened its doors for anyone wishing to light a candle or pause for a moment of reflection.
Julia's family have previously told of their heartbreak following her death. They described her as a fiercely loyal woman who "loved with her whole heart" and brought "so much fun and life to a room".
Callum Wheeler, 21, of Sunshine Corner Avenue in neighbouring Aylesham, has since been charged with her murder.
He is accused of killing the mum-of-two by inflicting serious head injuries while she walked her beloved Jack Russell, Toby.