Northern Ireland news

Derry Bishops on St Columba peace walk

Donal McKeown and Reverend Ken Good will begin their pilgrimage on April 27 at St Columba's birthplace. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Andrew Madden

TWO Derry bishops are to take part in a 30-mile walk in honour of the city's patron saint to promote reconciliation in the community.

Donal McKeown, the Catholic Bishop of Derry, and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, the Reverend Ken Good, will begin their pilgrimage on April 27 at St Columba's birthplace in Gartan, Co Donegal.

Their final destination will be St Augustine's Church in Derry, which is believed to be the site of a sixth century monastery founded by St Columba.

Along the way they will stop at Conwall Church of Ireland and St Eunan's Cathedral in Letterkenny, followed by St Aengus' Catholic Church in Burt.

On the third and final day of their journey, the two church leaders will arrive at St Augustine's Church.

In June the pair will also visit Iona in Scotland, where St Columba eventually settled and died.

This initiative will be followed by two joint walks in September, one from Claudy to Strabane and another from Limavady to Garvagh.

In a joint statement, the two bishops said the plans were inspired by the "example of our predecessors and building on our shared Christian identity."

"We are eager to heighten the profile of faith traditions in our dioceses and hope our shared witness of the gospel will encourage reconciliation in our community," they added.

"We want to raise awareness of the long ecclesiastical history of our community, its shared Columban narrative and rich Columban heritage."

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