Alan Henning beheading: Salford pays tribute to aid worker murdered by Isis

The city’s Muslim leaders have spoken out vehemently against Mr Henning’s murder

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The Independent Online

Thousands paid tribute to murdered British aid worker Alan Henning in his home town of Salford yesterday. A minute’s silence was held by rugby union fans ahead of the Sale Sharks’ game with London Wasps while services were staged in churches and mosques.

Last night Mr Henning’s humanitarian deeds were recalled during prayer and reflection at Eccles parish church next door to the minicab firm where the 47-year-old worked. His widow Barbara and their children, Lucy and Adam, joined about 500 people for the service.

Floral tributes and notes of condolence continued to be placed at the foot of Eccles Cross in the town centre as people struggled to come to terms with the murder. Among the objects laid was a packet of nappies, one of the items he was delivering to the  children of Syria when he was kidnapped in 2013.

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.

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Alan Henning's widow, Barbara, and their children, Lucy and Adam, attend a service of remembrance in Eccles Parish Church in Salford last night

“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.

The city’s Muslim leaders have spoken out vehemently against Mr Henning’s murder by Isis and many were among those paying tribute to the  taxi driver.

While people expressed their sadness at the loss of Mr Henning, the release of David Bolam was widely welcomed. The British teacher had been held hostage in Libya since May but has returned “safe and well” to his family in the UK.

It was suggested yesterday that money had been handed over to secure his release but the Foreign Office said it had not been involved in the negotiations.

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