Tribute to victims of terror attack

The service will take place in St John's Square at 6pm
The service will take place in St John's Square at 6pm
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A service to commemorate the victims of last month’s terror attack in Westminster will take place in Blackpool’s St John’s Square tomorrow.

The ‘Service of Hope’, at 6pm, will follow a similar service earlier in the day in Westminster, where Khalid Masood, 52, drove into pedestrians before stabbing and killing a police officer on March 22.

A spokesman for the Blackpool and Fylde Neighbourhood Watch executive committee, which is organising the event in the resort, said: “There is a strong groundswell of support among local communities to stage a similar multi-faith event in Blackpool for local people from across the Fylde Coast to commemorate the victims and to show their support and unity.”

The 15-minute multi-faith service will include a minute’s silence in tribute to the victims. A similar event in Preston was attended by dozens of people last week.

Five people, including the attacker, were killed during the incident, which lasted 82 seconds and ended when Masood was shot dead by armed officers. The 52-year-old drove a hired car indiscriminately at pedestrians, injuring at least 50, before stabbing PC Keith Palmer.

The tribute in Blackpool will be led by four faith leaders in an act of unity: Rev Steve Haskett, from St John’s Church; Imam Ashfaq Patel, from Blackpool Central Mosque; Sara Tax, from Blackpool Reform Jewish Congregation and Chirag Khajuria, of the Fylde Coast Hindu Society.

Members of the public will be joined by civic and faith leaders from across the resort, as well as members of Lancashire Police, and other emergency services, along with first responders and staff from the NHS.

The event is being organised by Blackpool and Fylde Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of the community, working with Blackpool Council, Blackpool Police, St John’s Church, Blackpool Central Mosque, Blackpool Reform Jewish Congregation and the Fylde Coast Hindu Society.