The 22 people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena atrocity, including Scots teenager Eilidh MacLeod, have been remembered at an emotional national commemoration service to mark its first anniversary.
Some 800 people attended yesterday’s hour-long service at Manchester Cathedral, including families or friends of the victims and also survivors of the 22 May terror attack.
They were joined by front-line responders and volunteers who helped in the tragic aftermath of the end of last year’s Ariana Grande concert.The service was streamed live into Glasgow Cathedral, allowing locals and those unable to travel to Manchester the chance to reflect on the atrocity.
A one-minute silence – observed nationwide – was held at 2:30pm with tears inside Manchester Cathedral and outside, where thousands watched on a big screen in nearby Cathedral Gardens.
Photographs of those who died in the bombing were displayed on screens in the cathedral shortly before the silence.
Ms MacLeod, 14, from Barra, was among those killed in the bombing.
She had made the 400-mile journey to the Ariana Grande concert with her friend Laura MacIntyre, who was seriously hurt in the blast.
Twenty-two lit candles on the altar represented each one of the victims, which were made using wax from the thousands of candles left in St Ann’s Square in their memory last May. Among the dignitaries present were the Duke of Cambridge, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Ms MacLeod’s parents also attended the remembrance service.
A larger single lit candle remembered bereaved families and friends, the hundreds who were physically or psychologically injured and their families and friends, those who helped on the night and those who have assisted or supported the community in their recovery.
Officiating the service, the Dean of Manchester, the Very Rev Rogers Govender, said: “In this service we come together as people of different faiths and none, as we remember with love before God those whose lives were lost, and those whose lives have been changed forever and have to live with the terrible memories of that day 12 months ago.
“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge between them is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”
Hymns sung by the Manchester Cathedral Choir were Amazing Grace, Be Still My Soul and I Watch The Sunrise.
The final blessing was given by the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Dr John Sentamu, before the service was drawn to a close by the national anthem.
The order of service listed the 22 names of those who lost their lives with the heading “in our hearts forever”.