Church bells to toll to mark Manchester Arena bombing anniversary

·2-min read

Church bells will toll on Saturday night to remember those murdered in the Manchester Arena terror attack on the fourth anniversary of the bombing.

The cathedral bells will toll at 10.31pm to mark the exact time of the attack, as will those of St Ann’s Church in St Ann’s Square.

The attack, which took place on May 22 2017, saw Manchester-born Salman Abedi, 22, detonate a shrapnel-packed rucksack bomb at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

Twenty-two bystanders, six of them children, were killed and hundreds more were injured.

The bomber’s brother, Hashem Abedi, was jailed in 2020 for a minimum of 55 years for his part in the bomb plot.

To remember the lives lost in the attack, prayer services will be held at 9am and 4.30pm at Manchester Cathedral during which the names will be read out of the 22 people who died in the suicide attack four years ago.

The cathedral will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm for private prayer and the lighting of candles, and the prayer services will be livestreamed on the cathedral’s Facebook page.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017, nor the moving way the city came together to express solidarity with all those affected by the attack and a determination not to give in to hatred.

"This year will pay our respects once more, albeit in a necessarily low-key fashion, and our thoughts remain especially with the families of those who lost loved ones in the attack."

Pandemic-related restrictions remain in place, limiting the scope for gatherings this year, and the leaving of floral or other tributes outside the cathedral or elsewhere in the city centre is politely discouraged, the city council said.

Joanne Roney, chief executive of the council, said: "Four years may have passed but we know that for many the pain of what happened on 22 May 2017 has not diminished.

“We will always remember those who were killed, as well as those left with physical and mental injuries.

"Of course, anniversaries have a particular resonance but we don’t just remember them one day every year and it is heartening that good progress is being made on the city’s permanent memorial."

From next year the focal point of commemorations will be the Glade of Light memorial garden, which will open in time for the fifth anniversary.

A public inquiry into the background of the attack is ongoing in Manchester.

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