Widow of murdered Sheffield man who has forgiven his killers shares her wish for new year

A Sheffield woman who has forgiven the men who killed her husband has told of her new year wish – that others will also show forgiveness to people who have wronged them.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 5:00 pm

Alan Greaves, 68, was set upon as he walked to play the organ at St Saviour’s Church in the High Green area of the city on Christmas Eve 2012.

Jonathan Bowling, then aged 22, of Carwood Way, Pitsmoor, admitted attacking Alan with a pickaxe handle and was jailed for life.

His accomplice Ashley Foster, also aged 22, of Wesley Road, High Green, was sentenced to nine years for manslaughter.

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Maureen Greaves, the widow of Alan Greaves. Picture: Scott Merrylees.

Alan’s widow Maureen has now written a book, called Murder on Christmas Eve, in which she tells how she has found lasting peace by forgiving her beloved husband’s killers.

Speaking at the start of the new year, Maureen – who has a strong Christian faith – told The Star: “I think forgiveness is something we should all seek to make part of our lives.

“It sets you free – you lose that hatred, that burden you're carrying.

“I believe not showing forgiveness can do real damage in your life.”

Much-loved Alan Greaves.

Maureen added that she still thinks of social worker Alan every day and described him as a ‘wonderful man’ who is sorely missed by his friends and family.

In Murder on Christmas Eve, Maureen writes: “I met Alan when I was in a lecture room at college. I was sitting opposite the door when he walked in. I immediately thought ‘this is the man I want to marry’.”

Of the night Alan was attacked, she recalls: “Alan set off walking to church but turned around and came home again because it was a bitterly cold night so he wanted his hat. If he hadn’t returned home he would have got to church without being hurt.”

She adds: “The way we as a family have come out of this has been tremendous.

“I live close by the place where the attack took place. It reminds me that there is nothing a human being has committed that cannot be forgiven by God.”

Murder on Christmas Eve costs 99p and can be downloaded at www.10ofthose.com