A vigil will be held in Macclesfield tonight in an act of support of Manchester after yesterday's horrific terror attack.
Residents are invited to attend St Michael’s Church in the town centre at 7pm.
It comes after a suspected suicide bomber claimed 22 innocent lives at the Manchester Arena.
Police have confirmed children were among those killed when a device was detonated in a foyer at the Arena, following a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.
All council buildings, including Macclesfield Town Hall, will fly their flags at half mast as a mark of respect.
Macclesfield Town Council is organising the vigil alongside Make It Macclesfield, a Community Interest Company which runs projects to raise the profile of the town in response to last night’s attack in Manchester.
A statement on the MiM website said: “Following the horrific events of yesterday evening in Manchester plans are being put in place for a vigil to be held in Macclesfield this evening (Tuesday) to demonstrate our support as a community for the many young people and families who have lost loved ones and those whose lives have been changed for ever by this totally unjustified atrocity.
“Please join us this evening in demonstrating our support both for the victims and their families and our commitment to defending our open and free society and way of life in the face of such attacks.”
Town leaders, celebrities, sports clubs and businesses have joined the outpouring of sympathy after the attack.
Among those to react on social media, expressing their sorrow and offering words of comfort were parliamentary candidates David Rutley, Neil Puttick and Mark Johnson, who all live in the town.
Mr Rutley said: “Horrific incident in #Manchester. Thoughts and prayers with all those affected. A great city with a big heart #we stand together”
Mr Puttick said: “Terrible news from Manchester. All our thoughts are with the people just trying to enjoy life, caught up in this awful attack.”
Mr Johnson said: “My thoughts & prayers with families & friends caught up in terrible #Manchesterattack.”
Macclesfield Lib Dems has suspended campaigning for the General Election and used Twitter to say: “Our thoughts are with those affected.”
Dame Sarah Storey, the Paralympic cyclist, who lives in Disley, Tweeted: “#Manchester Heartbreaking & devastating news,so proud of friends who were able to get there & be part of the effort to help people home.”
Cex Macclesfield on Mill Street said: “Thoughts and prayers with the victims from the Manchester attack last night. Such a sad thing to see. #PrayingForManchester”
Belvoir the estate agent in Macclesfield said: “Our thoughts are with everyone who is affected by the tragic events in Manchester.”
Macclesfield Town FC and AFC Macclesfield both offered their support to the city.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement the leaders of all political parties of Cheshire East Council, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and the injured, all their families and all those affected by this dreadful event. We stand behind the people of Manchester and join them in their condemnation of this appalling terrorist attack.
“We support the messages this morning from the elected mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and city council leader Sir Richard Leese, stating that Manchester is a great city which has experienced dark days in the past and whose people have pulled together to defeat terrorism.
“We will be writing to Mr Burnham and to councillor Leese to express our support, our condolences and to offer any assistance we can to help the city overcome this tragic event.
“In Cheshire East, all council buildings will fly flags at half-mast and we would urge all businesses that have their own flags to do the same. Staff from our schools’ support team are contacting all schools in the borough to ascertain if any pupils or staff were at the concert at the Manchester Arena and are offering support, if required.
“We would also urge our residents in Cheshire East to remain vigilant, wherever they are, at railway stations, sports stadiums and public places in particular and to follow the advice of the police to report any suspicious activity to them.
“The borough’s new mayor, Cllr Arthur Moran, added: “I wish to echo the words expressed by the group leaders of Cheshire East Council and to extend special praise for the emergency services, who demonstrated enormous courage in the way in which they responded to this shocking event.
“I too shall be writing to the civic leaders of Manchester, including the Lord Mayor Cllr Eddie Newman, to express my sincere sympathy and support for the great city of Manchester.
“Many of us may remember how Manchester recovered so well from the IRA attack on the city in 1996 and I have every confidence that the people of Manchester, from all walks of life, will once again pull together to demonstrate that they will not be cowed by terrorism.”