The funeral of Manchester policewoman Nicola Hughes, who was killed in a gun and grenade attack in Mottram, is taking place today at Manchester Cathedral. Thousands of people have been encouraged to line the streets as the funeral cortege travelled a half mile through the city centre.

Entry to the cathedral is by invitation only for family, friends and colleagues of PC Hughes. The full service will be broadcast on big screens outside the church to encourage the public to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the police. The Greater Manchester Police flag is flying at half-mast above the cathedral in honour of the PC Hughes. Fellow officers said the pair "exemplified the very best of British policing," while a relative of Hughes said that "she died doing a job she loved."

Police chiefs said they had been overwhelmed and heartened by the public support with more than 25.000 messages of condolence on its website, 19.000 via Facebook and another 1.000 on Twitter.

The funeral of 32-year-old PC Fiona Bone, who was also killed in the attack, will take place at the Manchester Cathedral tomorrow at 10am.

Written and presented by Ann Salter.