The Barlow RC High School commemorated two years since the Manchester bombing. All students began the day with a short period of reflection and prayer.
The day was also marked with a moving ceremony in the recently opened ‘Rainbow Bereavement Garden’, opened by Bishop John Arnold, RC Bishop of Salford Diocese. The garden is a stunning space where bereaved students can seek solace and peace when they are finding things particularly tough. The students themselves, along with volunteer gardener Alison Holland tend to and cultivate the garden.
Students who were at the Manchester Arena that evening, along with students from the GIFT team (Growing in Faith Together), tied colourful ribbons onto the trees as a sign of unity and hope. They also placed twenty-two ‘bee plaques’ bearing the Manchester emblem of the bee and the names of each of the victims in the garden.
Following this, students and staff created a ‘prayer chain’ ensuring there were 385 minutes of non-stop prayer throughout the day for those who died in the attack and for those who are still suffering as a result of what happened that evening. Staff and students from a variety of faiths all stood together in prayer as a sign of togetherness and optimism for the future.
The day not only commemorated the victims of the attack but reminded staff and students alike of the phenomenal resilience and strong sense of community spirit across this wonderful City.
“The entire city was affected by what happened on that dreadful evening two years ago. Some of our pupils and members of their families were there that night. It is so important for our community to reflect and remember the victims of the attack and to remind us to stand together during difficult times. We need to work towards building a society where we act with tolerance, compassion and love for others, not hatred as we saw that evening.” Headteacher, Claire McCarron.