Thousands of people of all faiths gathered in Manchester in a show of defiance against the suicide bomber who killed 22 people, including children, in an attack at a crowded concert hall. Members of the city's Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Sikh communities said they wanted to show that Manchester, while shocked, would not be cowed.

Manchester Arena bomb mourning
People of all faiths take part in a vigil in Manchester for the victims of the attack on concert goers at Manchester ArenaPeter Nicholls/Reuters
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A member of the clergy sheds a tear during a vigil in Albert Square in ManchesterOli Scarff/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A Sikh man holds up an 'I love Manchester' sign at a vigil at Albert Square in ManchesterJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
People pray and light candles set up in front of floral tributes in Albert Square in ManchesterBen Stansall/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A woman lights candles at Albert Square in Manchester, in solidarity with those killed and injured in the 22 May terror attack at the Manchester ArenaBen Stansall/AFP

Manchester residents have opened their hearts. Taxis offered stranded people free rides home while some residents invited those without lodging into their homes. At the vigil, people handed out free food and water to the public and members of the emergency services. One man said he had decided to spend an unexpected bonus on free food for volunteers following the terrorist attack and, on mentioning this in the supermarket, was given two extra trolleys of stock to give away.

Manchester Arena bomb mourning
Des Richardson, owner of Canine Motorcycle Recovery, hands out free food and drink to police and public following an evening vigil outside the Town Hall in Manchester. Mr Richardson had decided to spend an unexpected bonus on free food for volunteers following the terrorist attack and, on mentioning this in the supermarket, was given two extra trolleys of stock to give awayLeon Neal/Getty Images
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A taxi advertises its services for free in Albert Square in ManchesterBen Stansall/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A man hands out free bottles of water as members of the public gather at a vigil at Albert Square in ManchesterLeon Neal/Getty Images

The vigil, held in warm evening sunshine in front of the Town Hall, drew representatives of different religions who, one by one, condemned the bombing, which ripped through a crowd leaving a show by US singer Ariana Grande. "It was incredibly emotional ... for us especially as Muslim citizens," said Muhammad Khursheed, an imam of a mosque in the Manchester suburb of Hulme. "We will stand together in spite of oppression, terrorism. A strong, powerful message today."

After a moment of silence, when many wept, the crowd broke into repeated chants of "Manchester, Manchester." A placard read: "Hate will never tear us apart", alluding to the song "Love will tear us apart" by Joy Division, one of Manchester's best known music groups.

Local poet Tony Walsh read a poem from the steps of the Town Hall to the crowd which drew loud cheers and applause. "There's hard times again in these streets of our city, but we won't take defeat and we don't want your pity, because this is the place where we stand strong together with a smile on our face, Mancunians forever," Walsh said.

Manchester Arena bomb mourning
People hold up signs during a vigil in Albert Square in ManchesterJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A man writes a message on the pavement in central ManchesterDarren Staples/Reuters
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A message is left at a vigil for the victims of the Manchester Arena attackStefan Wermuth/Reuters
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
Members of the public attend a candlelit vigil at Albert SquareJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
Messages and floral tributes are seen in Albert Square in ManchesterBen Stansall/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
People attend a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester in solidarity with those killed and injured in the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester ArenaBen Stansall/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A woman reacts during a vigil in Albert Square in ManchesterOli Scarff/AFP

There has been an outpouring of grief and defiance around the world, with flags being lowered to half mast in Paris, Brussels and Madrid. The Eiffel Tower and New York's Empire State Building went dark in solidarity with Manchester. Passers-by in Paris, which has been hit by a string of Islamist attacks, said they were shocked by the killings but urged citizens to continue to go out and live normally.

Manchester Arena bomb mourning
The Eiffel Tower in Paris and New York's Empire Sate Building go dar in observance of the victims of the terrorist attack in ManchesterSpencer Platt/Getty Images, Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
European Union flags are lowered at half-mast outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in honour of the victims of the Manchester attackFrancois Lenoir/Reuters
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
Spanish flags flutter at half mast in Madrid following the Manchester attackApul Hanna/Reuters
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
Republican Guards fly the French flag at half mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester attackStephane de Sakutin/AFP
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
The water fountain (jet d'eau) in Geneva, Switzerland, is lit with red, white and blue in remembrance of the victims of an attack on concert-goers at Manchester ArenaDenis Balibouse/Reuters
Manchester Arena bomb mourning
A man stands in front of a fountain illuminated with the British flag in Zagreb, CroatiaAFP