A prayer to mark five years on from the Manchester Arena bomb

Last Updated on 23 May 2022 by Catherine Kelliher

The Revd Kirsty Thorpe, Minister of Wilmslow United Reformed Church, with the support of the Revd Mike Walsh, Special Category Minister for Chorlton and Whalley Contemporary Spirituality, offers this prayer to mark the fifth anniversary of the Manchester Arena Bombing where 22 people died and 1,017 injured as a result of a suicide bombing:

Five Years On From The Arena Bomb

The fabric of lives, families and communities
is fragile and precious.
You know this, loving God.
It takes years to weave together –
but can be blown apart in seconds.
An evil device planted at the heart of a celebration
was there to set people against one another –
different voices, different skin colours, different beliefs.
Instead, mysteriously, unity and dialogue emerged from shared pain
“This is Manchester, we do things differently here”.

The passing of time, the sharing of loss,
the unveiling of memorials and the framing of photographs.
Families and communities patch together their lives
and move on, though never the same as before the bomb,
bearing scars, seen and unseen.
Five years on Jesus, the wounded healer, crucified and risen one,
moves among us, bearing the scars of his agony,
whispering gently
“This is God’s home too, we do things differently here.”

Names of the Manchester bombing victims. Image: dress-studio.co.uk