Manchester Arena bomb: Service marks second anniversary

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA minute's silence was observed in the service and by hundreds of people gathered outside

The second anniversary of the Manchester Arena bomb has been marked with a multi-faith memorial service.

Twenty-two people died and hundreds were injured in the suicide bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande gig.

Outside the invitation-only service at St Ann's Church, the Manchester Survivors Choir sang and hundreds of floral bouquets were laid.

Hearts were left across the city for people to take and bells rang out at 22:31 BST, the time of the blast.

Survivor Adam Lawler, who was a friend of one of the victims - 15-year-old Olivia Campbell-Hardy - was among those paying his respects.

He said: "I'm remembering Manchester but I'm also respecting and reflecting what Manchester has become, a hive of brotherhood and unity in the wake of tragedy."

image copyrightVarious
image captionTwenty-two people were killed in the suicide attack at Manchester Arena

Photographs of each of the 22 victims were shown at the church service in St Ann's Square, which became a focal point for tributes immediately after the bombing.

Canon Nigel Ashworth told the congregation: "In the face of violence and hatred, we offer solidarity and compassion.

"None of us ever want to see anything like the arena attack ever again, but neither do we want to forget those who died and those who were injured."

image captionAdam Lawler said Manchester had become a "hive of brotherhood and unity in the wake of tragedy"

There was a poignant performance of Fleetwood Mac's Songbird and Elaine Inglesby, chief nurse at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, read Siegfried Sassoon's poem Idyll.

A minute's silence was held halfway through the service which was also observed by hundreds of people gathered in St Ann's Square and others across the city.

Representatives of the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Methodist faiths also led prayers of intercession, saying: "We are all one."

media captionManchester Arena bomb victims are remembered

Ariana Grande posted a bee emoji in her Instagram stories, with no words, while her mother Joan Grande said Manchester is "with me always, in my heart and in my mind".

South Korean pop band Blackpink dedicated their hit "Stay" to the victims during their gig at Manchester Arena on Tuesday evening.

Last year, a larger service was held at Manchester Cathedral, attended by Prince William and Prime Minister Theresa May, with crowds gathered outside to watch on large screens.

image captionHearts were left at St Ann's Square for people to take away with them

Manchester Cathedral opened throughout the day for people to "spend some time in quiet reflection and prayer".

About 14,000 people were at the arena when Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a device at the end of the concert as children and adults began leaving the venue.

More than 3,500 people have had psychological support in the wake of the attack.

In Blackpool, a statue was unveiled in memory of Jane Tweddle who died in the bombing.

Buildings in Liverpool are lighting up in orange for 24 hours in tribute to Megan Hurley.

image copyrightBlackpool Council
image captionA stone statue was unveiled in Blackpool in memory of Jane Tweddle who died in the bombing

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