Relatives, friends, and members of a church congregation will gather for a candlelit carol service tonight to remember the Sheffield organist murdered on his way to church last Christmas Eve.
Alan Greaves’ widow Maureen said all are welcome at the celebration of light set to take place at the exact spot where her husband was fatally attacked.
Mrs Greaves, a Church Army evangelist, said: “Rather than have a midnight service in church, I think it is so very appropriate to be outside.
“I can’t bear the thought of remembering Alan walking in the darkness alone last Christmas Eve, so having as many people present with me as possible will be a great comfort.
“Celebrating the light of Christ at Christmas time was what Alan was intending to do last year, but never made it.
“This year we can do that for him.
“I really hope as many people as possible will come out onto the streets to celebrate Christmas with me.”
Mr Greaves was attacked beside the park railings on Greengate Lane as he walked to St Saviour’s Church, as he had done for 40 years.
Jonathan Bowling and Ashley Foster were jailed for his death in July.
The celebration begins at 11pm tonight at the railings and large flaming torches will mark the site.
The Bishop of Sheffield will give a short address. At 11.20pm there will be a minute’s silence and Maureen will lay a wreath.
Night of celebration
Simon Bessant, vicar of St Saviour’s Church, said they wanted to celebrate Alan’s life.
“We don’t want to simply hold another memorial event,” he said.
“So, rather than have our usual midnight service, we have decided to go out to the place where such a dark and brutal event took place last Christmas Eve. “We don’t believe that darkness should have the last word, so we are going to have a celebration of light at the place and time Alan died.
“This tragic story started last Christmas Eve with an act of deep darkness. Exactly a year later we intend to bring it to a conclusion with a blaze of light.”