THE HEARTBROKEN wife of murdered Sheffield church organist Alan Greaves has told of her and her family’s ‘devastation’ over the crime.
Maureen Greaves said her husband’s death, three days after being attacked on Greengate Lane, High Green, while on his way to midnight mass at St Savior’s Church, in the village on Christmas Eve, was ‘just dreadful’.
She said: “There was no motive. We are devastated. It’s just not what you expect, someone to walk down a street and get murdered - and at this time of year, as well.
“It is just dreadful.”
Mrs Greaves, 63, who was married to her husband for 40 years after meeting him in 1970 when they were both training to be childcare officers, added: “We are bewildered and we are struggling to understand how this has happened.
“Alan was soft and caring, and would have avoided confrontation at all costs.”
She said her husband was a ‘gentleman, a godly man and a fantastic grandad’ who was loved by many.
Mrs Greaves, who ‘wants justice not vengeance’ added: “Every Christmas Eve he would bring me a huge bunch of flowers and they are still inside. He put on his coat and hat and said ‘bye love’ as he always did and they were the last words we spoke together.
“Life sometimes produces things like this. It’s a shame but you have to look for the good.”
Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft has asked for churchgoers to pray for Alan, a retired social worker who leaves four children and two grandchildren.
Alan had been an organist at St Saviour’s for nine years. He also regularly played piano for children in a school and he and his wife had set up a food bank to help poor people in the area.
Dr Croft, who plans to attend a service tomorrow morning at the High Green church where Alan was a parishioner, has sent a letter to all parts of his Sheffield Diocese asking for prayers for Alan, his wife Maureen and their family.
Dr Croft said: “Alan Greaves died on Thursday night following injuries received in an attack on Christmas Eve as he was on his way to church.
“He was a reader and organist at St. Saviour’s Mortomley and High Green in Sheffield.
“He was married to Maureen, a Church Army Evangelist and both Alan and Maureen were widely involved in serving their local community for many years. They have four grown up children.”
The Bishop asked for people’s prayers including for Alan’s parish priest Canon Simon Bessant who has been supporting the local community following this terrible turn of events.
Dr Croft said: “Please would you hold Alan’s family and the church family at High Green, with Simon Bessant the Vicar and the wider family of Church Army in your prayers in the coming days and especially this Sunday morning.
“I plan to be with the congregation at High Green on Sunday morning.”