More about…

Columbanus 1400 Events

This year marks the 1400th anniversary of the death of St Columbanus.


Throughout the year there are a number of events being planned both locally and internationally across Europe to celebrate the influence of “the First European” and a man with many credits from arguably being Ireland’s first man of letters to also being the patron Saint of motorcyclists!

We hope that you will be able to join us throughout the year at some, or all of the events that will be taking place throughout the year. For a full breakdown of all that is taking place and event content including new additions to the calendar of events please visit For national and international events please visit


  • Saturday 25th: Arrival in Bangor of the “Bell from Italy”. This bell cast in Italy to mark the anniversary will arrive in Bangor having travelled from Italy to Cork and North via the “Turas Columbanus”.


  • Friday 8th – Sunday 10th May: 24 hour Prayer & Praise: First Bangor Presbyterian Church, Bangor.
  • Friday 22nd: Official opening of the “Celtic Bells” exhibition at North Down Museum.
  • Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd: Columbanus Life and Legacy conference. The first of three conferences in Bangor, Bobbio and Luxeuil sees a series of lectures and talks on the life and legacy of Columbanus and the Ireland from which he came.


  • Monday 8th – Saturday 13th: Columbanus Cross-community Folk Festival Various locations.
  • Saturday 20th: European Friends of Columbanus & First Celebration of the Columban Way Event. This event will see pilgrims from across the Columban community visit Bangor for a day of celebration, friendship, and reflection. Events will include services, museum tours and concert. On the Sunday events move to Armagh.


  • Friday 21st – Saturday 29th August: Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention. The event includes a ‘Columbanus evening’ featuring present- day Irish missionaries to Europe.


  • Friday 20th- Sunday 22nd: Columbanus 1400 Festival. The weekend will see a series of events take place in Bangor to mark the Feast Day of Columbanus and bring to a formal close the 1400th anniversary. Events will include a concert, ecumenical service, historic talks and more.

In addition to the program of events during the year there are a number of Columbanus projects taking place. These will see the launch in April of a mobile Christian Heritage trail application, production of a music CD featuring works from a number of the European countries Columbanus influenced, production of portable exhibition that will visit sites across the local area educating on our rich Christian Heritage. In addition there is an education pack for schools and churches being produced.
Fancy yourself as a tour guide?
As part of the year’s projects the Friends of Columbanus Bangor are co-ordinating a series of classes where you can be trained as a tour guide to provide tours of the local Christian Heritage sites and also the trail being created. No experience is necessary and more information can be sought from the Friends at the website above.