Ilex helps put new Christian heritage trail on the map

Derry's Peace Bridge will form part of the new Christian Heritage Trail.
Derry's Peace Bridge will form part of the new Christian Heritage Trail.
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Ilex, the urban regeneration company for Derry, is assisting the city’s four main churches to develop a new Christian Heritage Trail.

The Churches Trust Ltd was awarded £255,000 under the City of Culture Capital Fund to develop a trail linking Carlisle Road Methodist Church, St Augustine’s Church of Ireland, Long Tower Catholic Church and the First Derry Presbyterian Church with the site of St Brecan’s Monastery at St Columb’s Park.

Launched today, the trail - which is believed to be the original Pilgrim’s Trail route - will start at St Columb’s Park, continue through Ebrington Square and the Peace Bridge and will lead to the Walled City. Along the way, the path will be marked by the thoughts and reflections of 6th and 7th century Christian ancestors alongside contemporary messages of reflection from city residents.

Ilex’s Cultural Broker, Caoimhin Corrigan, said: “This new Christian Heritage Trail will be a valuable addition in helping to promote the world-class heritage of this city. As well as having a strong educational dimension, it marks out another step in improving our visitor experience for all those who will visit the city in 2013 and beyond. In establishing the link from St. Brecan’s through to the Walled City, it will also afford local people the opportunity to see their city anew.”

Churches Trust Ltd Project Co-ordinator, and former Chief Executive, Liam Milligan said: “The key objective for the project is to utilise the unifying figure of our Patron Saint and our associated rich Christian heritage to contribute to a number of important outcomes. This includes bringing our communities together through the symbolic linking of East and West banks.”

Chairperson of the Churches Trust Rev. Louise Donald added: “We are pleased to be in a position to announce the project which represents a significant investment in the culture and heritage of our city.”