Community mourns loss of Ribble Valley mum in Manchester terror attacks

Hundreds gathered to grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack
Hundreds gathered to grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack
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Heartbroken residents in Whalley stood united in a show of compassion and strength at a vigil held to remember villager Michelle Kiss alongside the other victims of the Manchester bombing.

Hundreds gathered in Vale Gardens on King Street to show their support for the family of Michelle who was killed along with 21 others on Monday evening.

Candles lit in memory of the victims shone late into the night

Candles lit in memory of the victims shone late into the night

Children and adults wept as they huddled together for comfort during Thursday night's vigil.

The vigil was organised by Michelle's husband Anthony in less than a day to allow the community a place to grieve.

Whalley Methodist Minister Sally Ratcliffe led the service and began with a short reading from Martin Luther King Junior.

It read: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Flora tributes were left by hundreds of well-wishers

Flora tributes were left by hundreds of well-wishers

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

The Rev. Ratcliffe said: "It was good to be able to create a space to give the community an opportunity to express their shock and grief.

"Michelle touched a lot of people's lives in Whalley and that was evident in last night's gathering.

"It's a struggle to put how I feel about the attack into words. At first there was a numbness and an attempt to comprehend the events, but there is no making sense of things in this situation.

"The family wanted to arrange a space for the community to grieve and it was amazing to see the community gather in that way."

The vigil was attended by Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans and Ribble Valley Borough Councillor Terry Hill.

Coun. Hill said: "This evening's vigil in Vale Garden was a very moving tribute which shows Whalley community spirit at its very best.

"This was in response to a horrific event which has taken the life of a loving wife and mother and ripped the heart out of a local family.

"I extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Mrs Kiss and pray that they eventually may be able to overcome the horror they have suffered."

Nigel Evans MP said: "The vigil was incredibly moving and gave an opportunity for the community to openly display their love to the Kiss family.

"It was an very large turnout and we all were a part of the Kiss family. It was a genuinely open display of love.

"As HM The Queen stated after the fall of the twin towers in New York, 'Grief is the price we pay for love', and last night we saw it in all the faces of those showing their solidarity at the vigil."