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‘to advance public education and raise awareness…. and encourage appreciation of the life and work of Columbanus and knowledge of his historical and cultural heritage.’

Columban Way AGM

The weekend of 10th March  2018   marked a meeting of significance to the Celebration of St Columbanus with the General Assembly of the Association of the Columban Way being hosted in S

Over 60 visitors representing the Civic governance of the towns along the Columban Way including the mayors of Ards and North down, Luxiuill , Bobbio and Vaprio d’Adda along with a  French Senator and Councillors, were hosted  in Bangor. A meeting in Brunswick Road,  a public AGM in Bangor Abbey Parish Centre was followed by a Concert in Bangor Abbey.

The Association, which acts to encourage and promote shared culture  in the spirit of Saint Columbanus  contains members  from across Europe  including Italy, France and  Switzerland.

The Annual General Meeting held in Bangor Abbey  is planning to develop and expand the cultural activity such as the cultural and educational programs that have been supported by the Friends of Columbanus in Bangor and in Luxiuill.  This cultural and  educational work has enthusiastically been also supported by the “Green Butterflies”whose president  led by Manuela Bertocin based in Andorra Italy who has visited an encouraged cultural contact with Bangor in many  innovative ways including, with the support of our local Council, originating exchanges with teachers from Ballyholme Primary School and giving gifts and  presentations to 4 primary schools in Bangor who joined in the project and to  the representatives of the Friends of Columbanus of the four main churches.

A highlight of the March weekend was a celebration concert held the Bangor Abbey with the choirs of Bangor Abbey, Bangor Ladies Choir alongside the Cora di Andora from Italy and members of Ards CCE.

Visitors also enjoyed tours of Grey Abbey, Nendrum and North Down Museum to learn of local Christian Heritage  in the Borough.

On a local level, work continues to develop the Columban Way within Northern Ireland and the republic.  This concetrates on  the creation of a walking route  called Turas  (Turas means Journey), running from Leinster to Bangor.  Simone  Derache was the first pilgrim to complete the Turas  in June 2017 and it hoped sections will be available for test  walks soon.  The working groups will be keeping us  of informed of developments as Sections of the Turas route , become available for wider usage.  Cllr Deborah Girvan who also serves on the Friends of Columbanus Commitee is  our main link on the local Committee.

Friends of Columbanus.

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