Community mourns for the loss of Ribble Valley mum in Manchester terror attacks

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.

Friday, 26th May 2017, 2:42 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Hundreds gathered to grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flora tributes were left by hundreds of well-wishers

"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 Nigel Evans MP and Ribble Valley Borough Councillor Terry Hill.

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

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."

Flora tributes were left by hundreds of well-wishers