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Alan Henning beheading: Thousands pay silent tribute to killed aid worker

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Barbara Henning, wife of murdered aid volunteer Alan Henning, sits with family members as they attend a 'service of reflection' yesterday to honour his memory

Barbara Henning, wife of murdered aid volunteer Alan Henning, sits with family members as they attend a 'service of reflection' yesterday to honour his memory

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Barbara Henning, wife of murdered aid volunteer Alan Henning, sits with family members as they attend a 'service of reflection' yesterday to honour his memory

Thousands paid tribute to murdered British aid worker Alan Henning yesterday in a service attended by his widow, Barbara, and children, Lucy and Adam.

Rugby fans observed a minute's silence ahead of the Sale Sharks game with London Wasps, and he was remembered in services at churches and mosques.

Last night, Mr Henning's humanitarian deeds were recalled during prayer and reflection at Eccles Parish Church, near the minicab firm where the 47-year-old used to work.

Floral tributes and notes of condolence continued to be placed at the foot of Eccles Cross, a simple stone monument in the town centre, as local people struggled with the sense of horror and outrage created by his murder on Friday.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, compared the sense of unity in loss to the aftermath of the 1996 IRA bomb which destroyed a large part of Manchester city centre and injured more than 200 people.

"Within the Greater Manchester area, it's part of our tradition to come together at times of tragedy. This won't divide us, it will simply reaffirm us in our commitment to one another and to the future of the world of which we are a part," he said.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office yesterday welcomed the release on Thursday of a British hostage who had been held in Libya. It is thought that David Bolam (63) was released after money changed hands and with the intervention of local political factions.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are glad that David Bolam is safe and well after his ordeal, and that he has been reunited with his family. We have been supporting his family since he was taken."

Shropshire MP Philip Dunne said: "David is a dedicated English teacher who had returned to Benghazi to help rebuild the international school of which he was a director, after he had been evacuated during the Arab Spring. He was trying to help young people in Libya gain a good education."

Mr Bolam had been working in Libya for seven years. His kidnap in May had not been reported at the request of the Foreign Office.

Belfast Telegraph