Manchester is preparing for a day of reflection as the fifth anniversary of the terror attack at the Manchester Arena arrives.
The city will come together in several acts of remembrance on Sunday 22 May, to reflect and pay respects to the 22 people killed five years ago.
Manchester City Council has outlined some of the reflections that have been planned.
The Glade of Light memorial, which was officially opened last week by Prince William and Kate Middleton, will offer Mancs a place to pay their respects.
The memorial is a living garden that has been built beside Manchester Cathedral, featuring a marble halo engraved with the names of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack.
The cathedral itself will hold prayers that include acts of remembrance at 8.45am, 10.30am, and 5.30pm, with the names of all 22 people killed read out.
Manchester Cathedral will be open all day for people to light candles or take a moment of quiet reflection.
Its bells will toll at 10.31pm, marking the exact time of the attack on 22 May 2017.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester will attend the 5.30pm prayers and will lay flowers on the Glade of Light afterwards on behalf of the city.
At nearby Victoria Station, which stands directly beneath the foyer where the atrocity took place, silences will be held at noon and at 10.31pm.
The station announcer will read out the names of those who lost their lives, and the railway chaplain will read prayers.
Floral tributes will be laid in the station and a memory book will be available for people to leave thoughts and reflections on the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack.
The 22 May will also see the return of the Great Manchester Run, with thousands taking on 10km and half-marathon races through the city’s streets.
A one minute’s applause has been arranged at each starting wave of the run, to ‘honour the memory of those who lost their lives, acknowledge the courage of everyone affected and recognise the remarkable spirit shown by the city in the aftermath of the attack’.
The Great Manchester Run 2017 took place just six days after the attack and was a powerful showcase of Manchester’s resilience.
Councillor Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “22 May 2017 is one of the darkest days in this city’s history. It’s hard to believe that five years has passed since those terrible events.
“We will never forget those whose lives were so cruelly taken, or those whose lives were changed forever that day.
“But nor should we forget the remarkable spirit shown in the aftermath of the attack as the city came together in solidarity, compassion and a refusal to give in to hatred and fear. Love proved stronger.
“The fifth anniversary of the attack will have a personal meaning for every one of us. Our thoughts remain with all those who were impacted by that evil act. But however they wish to do so I would encourage everyone in the city to take some time out during the day to remember and reflect.”
Those who have been impacted by the tragedy and need support are able to access the Greater Manchester Resilience Hub on 0333 0095071 or by email to [email protected] The hub is open 9am to 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 9am to 7pm on Wednesdays and 9am to 3pm on Fridays.
Featured image: Qubek