Video: I hope killers will find peace now, says Sheffield church organist’s widow

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THE widow of a church organist murdered as he walked to a Christmas Eve service last year said today she would pray for his killers this festive season.

Maureen Greaves was unveiling a plaque in memory of her husband Alan, 68, who was beaten to death with a pickaxe handle near St Saviour’s Church in Sheffield.

Maureen Greaves unveils a plaque in memory of her husband Alan. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Maureen Greaves unveils a plaque in memory of her husband Alan. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The father-of-four died in hospital three days after suffering head injuries in the attack.

Today Mrs Greaves said she was “humbled” that a room had been dedicated to her husband’s memory at High Green parish council offices, near the scene of the attack.

She said: “I feel very humbled by it and also very privileged that the community wanted to do this. I think Alan would be astounded, to be honest - he was a very humble man, a gentle man who never drew attention to himself. I think he would be surprised at what is happening today, but as his wife I do feel very proud.”

Last July, two men were jailed for the killing. Jonathan Bowling, 22, admitted murder and will serve a minimum of 25 years. Ashley Foster, 22, was sentenced to nine years for manslaughter.

Alan Greaves

Alan Greaves

Mrs Greaves, who works for the Church of England as a Church Army officer, said she hoped the killers would remember her husband’s faith. She said: “I do think there is redemption for them. My biggest prayer this Christmas will be that Jonathan and Ashley will not just remember what they did to Alan, but will remember his faith, and remember my faith. If I should ever hear that they to have come to know that God loves them I’d be truly delighted.”

This year’s Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at St Saviour’s will be held at the railings where Mr Greaves was murdered.