18th August, is the anniversary of the death in 2012 of Winnie Johnson.
Winnie was known throughout England as the mother of Keith Bennett, the child victim of the moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Despite extensive searching Keith’s body has never been found.
Winnie campaigned tirelessly to find Keith’s grave, and it was this aspect of her life which was well known in the media. However, as we recalled at Winnie’s funeral, at St Chrysostom’s, there was much much more to Winnie. She was a woman who engaged fully with life, and was an inspiration to so many. Despite the tragedy in her life she was cheerful and a direct speaker. She was a member of our congregation, regularly coming to Sunday Mass on her electric scooter and sitting right at the front. She was ever the same, cheerful and frank in her manner. The local community misses her. We miss her at church.
The hanging behind the font in Church is in memory of Keith. He loved to collect leaves and local children drew different leaves and members of the textiles department of Manchester University made the hanging. We hope soon to have a plaque placed in church to remind us of this.
Winnie’s example encourages us to pray for, and have a heart for mothers of the world whose children have disappeared in terrible circumstances.
Winnie’s example encourages us to have courage, and remain faithful and strong in the face of tragedy.
Each Sunday when she came to mass Winnie lit a candle for Keith. Two candles will burn in church on August 18th – one for Keith and another for his mother, Winnie. May they both rest in peace and rise in God’s glory.
May their memory be eternal! May they never be forgotten! and may they rest in peace!
God bless you Winnie. You showed so much devotion for your lost son but he is no longer lost to you. Rest in peace together.
God bless you Wnnie, together with Kieth forever
I hope they will find Keith one day. So him and his mother can rest in peace and finally be together x
RIP Winnie & Keith, l hope you are reunited in gods care xxx
God bless you Winnie and Keith may you both find peace, x
May Winnie and Keith rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus. Thank you Fr Ian for your ministry and for drawing attention to Winnie and her son, Keith.
Fr Tom Ryan SMA
May God grant you peace and joy, in at last reuniting with Keith. RIP
Like many people in Manchester who grew up in the shadow of the terrible crimes committed by those despicable individuals, my heart went out to the families of the lost ones. Winnie’s ceaseless efforts to find her beloved son Keith were both tragic and inspiring at the same time. Never secure in my own beliefs, I sincerely wish with all my heart that if there is an afterlife, Winnie and Keith are reunited in their love.
Be in peace together Mother and son back in each others arms. Remembering you both. x