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Thousands attend memorial service in memory of victims of Manchester Arena attack

  • Special memorial service took place in Manchester Cathedral this afternoon
  • Admission was invitation-only but thousands attended a screening in Cathedral Gardens

More than 1,000 people gathered in Manchester Cathedral Gardens this afternoon to watch the Manchester Arena memorial service.

The service marks a year since the Manchester Arena bombing attack, which took the lives of 22 people and injured many more.

Admission to the cathedral was by invitation only, but spectators stood shoulder to shoulder in silence to watch the event from a large screen in the nearby cathedral gardens.

Throughout the ceremony 22 candles burned for each victim who lost their lives in the attack, with an additional candle for everyone effected physically and psychologically by the events of 12 months ago.

The silence of the crowd was broken as the audience erupted in applause following a beautiful rendition of Somewhere over the Rainbow by a Manchester youth choir.

At 2.30pm, halfway through the memorial service, a minute’s silence took place nationally to remember those affected by the attack.

All cranes in Manchester were turned to face the Arena as a sign of respect during the minute’s silence.

In attendence at the sevice was The Duke of Cambridge, PM Theresa May, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, relatives and friends of victims of the arena attack and the first-responders and volunteers who helped in the aftermath of the terror attack.

The Duke of Cambridge addressed the cathedral, reciting The Gift of Love from the book of Corinthians: ‘Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude’.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, said: "Here in this building is where Manchester remembers a specific moment in its history.

"This place, so close to the spot where lives were lost and so many changed forever. By gathering today, we have it for all the times to come. Manchester is here."

Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable and Nicola Sturgeon joined members of the public by writing messages for the Tree of Hope trail.

Madihah, 19, from East Didsbury said: “A few friends were at the concert and when something like this hits you so close to home. It really puts into perspective how we need to come together more as a community and integrate without causing so much division.”

The One Voice concert will start later this evening at 7:30pm in Albert Square. Among those performing are the Manchester Survivors Choir, Parrs Wood High School’s Harmony Group.

The event will end with a mass 30-minute communal singalong, with songs including Ariana Grande’s One Last Time and Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis.

At 10:31pm, exactly one year on from the attack, bells will ring out from buildings across the city centre.

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