Finding Columbanus (Bangor) – Report

24/25 September 2022

Owing to weather conditions we had to abandon the plan to explore the ecclesiastical remains on the Copeland Islands and instead make a short boat trip out of Bangor Harbour to Smelt Mill Bay (where it is now thought Columbanus set sail in 591AD).

Music (David Lennon) and Verse (Skipper Brian Meharg) were provided on board the Ocean Crest
Even in Belfast Lough the swell was apparent

After a safe return to harbour the group set out in search of Bangor’s lost holy well, now under Southwell Road on the way to Bangor Museum and the nearby walled garden.

The painting behind the altar depicts Saints Comgall, Columbanus and Gall.

The group was then welcomed to Bangor Abbey by Canon Ronnie Nesbitt and enjoyed talks on the long history of the site and its surrounding graveyard.

The Bradshaw Stone in the Abbey Tower (1620)

On Sunday the group walked the last section of the Columban Way Route from Helen’s Bay to Bangor via Strickland’s Glen. On the way it visited St John the Baptist’s Church and climbed up to the viewpoints on Grey Point where Robin Maysfield gave a short talk.

The group on the beach at Helen’s Bay

The walk ended at St Comgall’s where refreshments were provided in the Church Hall. Máire Foley then gave an excellent talk on the Bangor Saints Icons.

The Icon of St Columbanus in St Comgall’s Church