On Saturday 22nd May 2021, Manchester will mark four years since the terrorist attack in which 22 people were killed after an Ariana Grande concert.
As pandemic-related restrictions will remain in place there will be limited scope for gathering, but the anniversary will be marked with acts of remembrance during the morning (9am) and evening (4.30pm) prayer services at Manchester Cathedral, during which the names of those who lost their lives will be read out.
The services will be livestreamed via the Manchester Cathedral Facebook page.
During the day, the cathedral will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm for private prayer and the lighting of candles.
In line with the arrangements around the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent funeral, the leaving of floral or other tributes outside the cathedral or elsewhere in the city centre is politely discouraged.
The cathedral bells will be tolled at 10.31pm to mark the exact anniversary of the attack, as will those of St Ann’s Church in St Ann’s Square.
From next year the focal point of any commemorations will be the Glade of Light memorial.
Work to create this is ongoing and is due to be completed by December and it will be open for next year’s fifth anniversary.
“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,” said Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council.
“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.”
Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City 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.”