Online services to mark third anniversary of Manchester Arena bombing

Manchester Bombings

Memorial services will be broadcast online as Manchester prepares to mark the third anniversary of the Arena suicide bombing by staying at home.

Lockdown measures because of the coronavirus outbreak mean families will not be able to grieve together in social surroundings like previous years.

Instead, plans have been adapted to mark the deaths of 22 people following the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena at 10.31pm on May 22 2017.

Prayers will be led by Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester, including reading the names of those killed, during services at 9am and 4.30pm and livestreamed on the Manchester Cathedral Facebook page.

Train operator Northern has placed bee stickers at 2-metre intervals on the floor around the memorial at Manchester Victoria Station, next door to the Arena, to allow mourners to observe social distancing measures while reflecting.

At 10.31pm, BBC Radio Manchester will play a special recording of Manchester Cathedral bells tolling 22 times.

And Spice Girls singer Melanie Chisholm will be performing a four-hour DJ set on Greater Manchester’s United We Stream fundraising platform as part of a special commemorative show.

Meanwhile a planning application for a new permanent memorial is expected to go before the city council next month.

The design, named Glade Of Light and intended to be installed on Fennel Street near the cathedral, is designed to be a tranquil garden space, with a planting scheme planned to ensure year-round colour and reflect the changing seasons.
It will also have a white stone ring which will carry the names of the 22 victims.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was among those murdered at the Arena, said: “I think it is important for future generations to see it, it must never be forgotten.

“I hope like the 9/11 memorial in New York, once it is established I hope someone looks after it and people come to reflect and pay their respects.”

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