Wednesday, 24 July 2013

WIDOW FORGIVES HUSBAND'S KILLERS

THE widow of a church organist who was beaten to death has revealed she has forgiven his killers – and that losing her husband has cemented her faith.

Maureen Greaves explained in a TV interview last week that although it was a “daily struggle”, she placed “in God’s hands” the men who battered her husband, Alan.

Ashley Foster was found guilty of manslaughter last week, while Jonathan Bowling admitted murdering Mr Greaves at an earlier hearing.

Mr Greaves was viciously battered on Christmas Eve last year as he walked to St Saviour’s Church in High Green, Sheffield.

Following the verdict on Foster, Mrs Greaves, a committed Christian, revealed that she had forgiven the men, but she had to ask God daily to help her battle.

The 64-year-old said: “It has to be a daily act of saying ‘I place them in your hands, God’, so that I don’t have to worry about them, I don’t have to hate them.

“After the massive shock and heartbreak, this was probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, to go down the path of forgiving them.

“It has been a wonderful release that I have not had the burden of hatred towards them. I have to do it every day so I don’t lapse.

“It is not an easy journey to look two men in the face who have killed the person you love most in the world and hang onto that.

“When you are sitting there in court and you see them and you are heartbroken at what they have done to you, they have taken from you the person who is still your soulmate, it is very difficult to sit there and continue to forgive them and want to forgive them.”

Despite describing the process of adapting to life without her husband as an “intensely painful journey”, Ms Greaves says the loss has cemented her faith rather than destroying it.
She said: “One thing I have comforted myself with is that the God I believe in had a son who was beaten as Alan was beaten. The God I believe in had a son who was resurrected as I believe Alan will be resurrected to be with God.”
 
Bowling was given life imprisonment for murdering Mr Greaves, and will serve a minimum of 25 years. Foster was given a nine-year prison sentence for his part in the killing. Both men are aged 22.
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