THERE was standing room only at St Mary's Church today for a service of thanksgiving for the life of murdered Chard woman Catherine Wells-Burr.

Family and friends packed into the parish church to say their farewells to the popular 23-year-old university graduate.

Catherine's body was found in the remains of burnt out car near Ashill back in September. Three people have since been charged in relation with her murder and will stand trial in Bristol.

Rev Sue Tucker, of St Mary's Church, led today's poignant and terribly sad service and said that four months or so after Catherine's death and people were still asking why such a 'wicked and evil' act had happened to Catherine.

She said that "good will overcome evil" and that Catherine's parents, Jayne and Philip and sister Leanne, had taken huge comfort from all the support they had received from family and friends.

Rev Tucker said they would continue to need that support for the foreseeable future - especially during the 'dark days' of the trial, which is scheduled to be held at Bristol Crown Court in April.

But she said that although there was still anger and pain about what had happened, she told the congregation that today was about celebrating the life of a woman who was so well-loved by those that knew her.

Rev Tucker read out some words written by Catherine's sister Leanne in which she said she had lost her "best friend" and missed her deeply.

Tributes were made during the service by Cathy Leng, of Bath Spa University, where Catherine had graduated with a first-class honours degree, and from Keith Porter, of Numatic International, where she had been working since November 2011.

There was a theme running through both of their tributes in which they described Catherine's drive to succeed, her sense of fun and her beautiful smile.

It was said that her smile would light up a room and it was apt that as her coffin was carried into the church for the midday service that the sun began to shine through the stained glass windows as if she was looking down from afar.

The service of thanksgiving was followed by a private cremation attended by family and close friends.