One Year On: Events commemorating the Manchester Arena attacks

Tuesday 22nd May sees the 1-year anniversary of the Manchester bombing attacks that claimed the lives of 22 people and changed the lives for many more forever.

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 25 May 2018

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There are many events around the city that will mark the anniversary of the attack, here’s what’s going on should you wish to pay tribute and your respects.

National Service of Remembrance at Manchester Cathedral
Tuesday 22nd May
This special service at Manchester Cathedral will take place in the afternoon of the 22nd and has been specially arranged for the families of those who lost their lives, first responders and civic leaders. The service will be attended by both the Prime Minister and Prince William who will pay their respects during a national minute’s silence at 2.30pm. The service will be screened on the big telly in nearby Cathedral Gardens, as well as at various locations throughout the country.


Manchester Together with One Voice at Albert Square
Tuesday 22nd May from 7pm to 9pm
Head on down to Albert Square from 7pm and you will get the chance to catch the Manchester Survivors Choir for a mass singalong in remembrance of the event. The Choir is made up mostly of parents and children who will be joined by thousands of the public, choirs, emergency service staff and many, many more for a huge singalong to pay tribute to the attack one year ago.


Manchester Bomb – Our Story on BBC iPlayer
If you can’t get out and do something around the city, I must suggest you take some time to watch the fantastic Manchester Bomb: Our Story in BBC iPlayer. Made in Manchester by Blakeway North, the documentary charts the events and aftermath for three girls who were present at the Ariana Grande concert. As you’d expect, the documentary looks at the lasting psychological impact the event had on their lives, and how they’ve coped with the lasting effects of being present on the night. It’s a long one at 70 minutes but you’ll be gripped – it very touching, respectful but also hard-hitting.


Trees of Hope
Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th May
The Trees of Hope will be placed around the city in the days leading up to (and after) the anniversary of the attack, and hope to provide an outlet for people to leave and share tributes to the victims, their families and the many people still affected by the horrendous events of a year ago. 28 Japanese maple trees will be placed throughout the city, with the general public being able to attach messages of hope and remembrance using the specially designed cardboard tags. Each and every message will then be kept safe in an archive of the city’s response to the attack.


#LoveMCRBees Rocks for the Manchester Bombing
Tuesday 22nd May
The #LoveMCRBees movement has quickly picked up pace on Social Media with the concept being very simple. From 9.30am people will be placing personal painted rocks in St Ann’s Square and Exchange Square, each one proudly featuring the Manchester Bee, to commemorate the 22 lives lost on the 22nd May 2017. Loads of people from all over the region and country have painted the rocks including many school children and community groups. Head on down to the two squares on the 22nd to see them.


There Is A Light
Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th May
From Tuesday 22nd song lyrics are to be projected onto the buildings and pavements in St Ann’s Square, helping to create a space where people can pay tribute to those who lost their lives and the many victims who still live with the events today. The lyrics have been selected by families of the victims as well as members of the public, with the hope that they will inspire reflection and remembrance.


Flower Festival at St Ann’s Church
Monday 21st – Wednesday 23rd May
As the location of such an overwhelming outpour of grief and defiance shortly after the attacks, St Ann’s Square will once again be a main focal point of these anniversary events. The Church will be hosting a flower festival inside it’s ancient walls, with the display being designed by 23 groups of flower arrangers from throughout the region, as well as from many institutions in the city. It is open to anyone and is free.