British Aid Worker Alan Henning Slain By ISIS 'Died A Martyr,' Remembered by Thousands

( [email protected] ) Oct 06, 2014 11:30 AM EDT
Alan Henning
Alan Henning was working as a volunteer bringing toys and diapers to children in Syria when he was kidnapped by ISIS in 2013 Photo: PA

Hundreds commemorated Alan Henning in his home town of Salford yesterday, remembering the British aid worker's kind heart and emphasizing that his death "will not tear us apart."

Henning's wife, Barbara, and two children were joined by almost 500 others at Eccles Parish Church to remember Henning, who was delivering aid when he was kidnapped in Syria by the Islamic State in 2013, and beheaded by terrorist group on Friday.

After a moment of silence, mourner quietly prayed together and reflected on Henning's humanitarian deeds and selfless life.

"Alan was a decent, caring human being," said Barbara Henning in a statement.

"His interest was in the welfare of others.He will be remembered for this and we as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped."

Floral tributes and notes of condolence continued to be placed at the foot of Eccles Cross in the town center. Among the objects laid was a packet of baby diapers, one of the items he was delivering to the children of Syria when he was kidnapped, reports the Independent.

A minute's silence in tribute to Henning was also observed by rugby union fans before the Sale Sharks game with London Wasps at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

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 killed more than 200 people, and said that Henning "died a martyr."

"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.

Alan Henning's Family
Henning's wife, Barbara, and two children are shown at his his memorial service on Sunday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Prime Minister David Cameron also described the murder as "completely unforgivable" and has vowed the UK will do all it can to find those responsible.

An Alan Henning Memorial Fund has been launched by his friend and fellow aid worker Shameela Islam-Fulfiqar, which hopes to raise $20,000 in his name.

Dr. Islam-Fulfiqar said the fund had been set up to show Mr Henning's children "their father's death was not in vain and that the work that Alan was so committed to will also continue."

"A project will also be set up in Alan's name eventually to benefit those that Alan died trying to help in Syria to ensure his legacy continues long after he was taken from us," he added."

ISIS has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria in an effort to establish a worldwide caliphate in the areas it has taken.