Over 40 years ago the whole of Britain was shocked by the terrible moors murders. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley murdered five children and buried their bodies on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester. The horrific details of the murders produced, and continue to produce, horror and shock throughout the country.
At St Chrysostom’s the Moors Murders have particular poignancy because a former and much loved member of the church, the late Winnie Johnson, was the mother of one of the victims, Keith Bennett.
Keith was taken by Brady and Hindley while walking to his grandmother’s along Hathersage Road, in St Chrysostom’s parish.
Keith lived with his family in Eston Street. He had attended Plymouth Grove Primary School and had just begun secondary school on Daisy Bank Road. he attended Sunday School at St Chrysostom’s Church.
Sadly, despite thorough searching for decades and appeals to Brady and Hindley, Keith’s body has never been recovered.
Winnie’s determination to find Keith’s body was been an inspiration to a great many people, and she was much loved among the people of St Chrysostom’s Church.
Winnie, a mother of eight, had always hoped and prayed that Keith’s body will be found and that a proper funeral can take place. The time came when she felt a Memorial Service for Keith could be held at which his life can publicly be remembered, and at which she thanked all those who have worked so hard to try and find her son’s body.
The Memorial Service was held at Manchester Cathedral on Friday 5th March 2010 at 11am. The service was arranged by the Cathedral authorities and Fr Ian. The Bishop of Manchester preached. (You can read about the service here)
Before then a quiet Requiem Mass for Keith was held at St Chrysostom’s Church on Saturday 27th February at 12 Noon. Fr Ian preached at the Mass, and family and friends remembered Keith in the Church which serves the area in which he lived.
Sadly Winnie died in 2012 without Keith’s body ever being found. Her funeral was held at St Chrysostom’s. (Report here).