May 22 terror attack: Third anniversary and memorial update

Friday 22 May 2020 marks the third anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing where 22 people sadly lost their lives.

This year due to coronavirus-related restrictions, people are being encouraged not to gather together to mark the anniversary, or leave tributes, but to mark it online or at home.

Prayers led by Dean of Manchester Rogers Govender, which will include the names of the 22 people who lost their lives being read out, will take place at 9am and 4.30pm on Friday 22 May and be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/ManchesterCathedral/live

During the morning service, people watching will be invited to join in by lighting a candle in remembrance.

BBC Radio Manchester will be marking 10.31pm on 22 May, exactly three years to the day since the attack occurred, as part of a dedicated programme starting at 10pm. At 10.31pm they will play out a special recording of Manchester Cathedral bells tolling 22 times.

Other stations will also be marking 10.31pm, including Manchester’s Hits Radio which will be holding a reflective moment.

People can also learn more online about the Manchester Together Archive, the project to catalogue and digitise all the tributes left in St Ann’s Square in 2017 in the aftermath of the attack.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:

“Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017. Those who were killed, those who lost loved ones and all those whose lives changed forever that night are forever in our thoughts.

“We will be thinking of them on 22 May and importantly plans for a permanent memorial, a tranquil space for contemplation which can be used year-round, are progressing well.

“We have consulted, and continue to consult, with those who lost loved ones on the location and form of the memorial. Their input remains crucial but we also welcome the views of others as part of wider engagement around the Medieval Quarter plans.”

Professor Malcolm Press, chair of the Manchester Memorials Advisory Group, said:

“We are determined to ensure a fitting and lasting memorial.

“Getting to this point has taken great care and consideration and it is good to be in a position where we can now share more detail with the public.”

We know the impacts of this tragedy remain significant and that some people may even need support for the first time. Support continues to be available for anyone who is struggling. This can be accessed via the Greater Manchester Resilience Hub on 0333 0095071 or by email to GM.help@nhs.net The hub is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm, and until 8pm on a Wednesday.

Memorial

Further details have been released about the proposed memorial commemorating the 22 May 2017 terror attack ahead of the third anniversary of the event being marked.

Glade of Light is designed to be a tranquil garden space, with a planting scheme planned to ensure year-round colour and reflect the changing seasons – a living memorial entirely using plants which grow naturally in the UK countryside. Tree locations have been calculated to maximise light and ensure the garden gets as much sunlight as possible.

At the heart of the memorial is a white stone ring ‘halo’ which will bear the names of the 22 who lost their lives set in bronze, with personalised memory capsules – containing memories and mementos to be provided by their loved ones- held within the stone.

It is intended to submit a planning application for the memorial – to be located between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street where it meets Victoria Street – in June.

Designers BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf were appointed last year, in consultation with the families of those killed. The families have also been consulted as designs developed.

A consultation on a scheme to improve the wider Medieval Quarter area, into which the memorial plans have been sensitively incorporated, began on Monday 18 May 2020.

To take part in the consultation, visit www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations

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