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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Ancient pilgrimage is revived
St Cybi's Church, Holyhead
St Cybi's Church in Holyhead is at the centre of the pilgrimage
An ancient pilgrimage has been revived in Holyhead in honour of a Welsh abbot who was canonised 1,500 years ago.

St Cybi, whose name forms part of the town's Welsh name Caergybi, is thought to have set up a church inside the town's Roman fort in the 6th Century.

The pilgrimage, attended by more than 100 people, was held for the first time in nearly 600 years on Saturday.

The last recorded one was in 1405, before St Cybi's remains were moved from the church.

Organiser David Lloyd-Williams said a special service was held in St Cybi's Church at the start of the event, which featured a sermon from the Bishop of Bangor.

"The pilgrims then followed the cross to Ucheldre Arts Centre to look at the statue of Christ the Good Shepherd," he said.

"It was an excellent day."


St Cybi embarked on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, before travelling to Wales and establishing a monastery in Holyhead.

Mr Lloyd-Williams wrote to churches in Wrexham, St Asaph and Bangor, asking them to support the pilgrimage.

He said the pilgrimages to Holyhead stopped after St Cybi's shrine was taken to the Christ Church Priory in Dublin in 1405.

"This was during the Glyndwr rebellion and it is possible that they took it there for safekeeping," he said.

He also said that he hopes to organise a Cybi Festival in June or July 2005, exactly 600 years since the shrine was taken to Ireland.

Mr Lloyd-Williams also added that he had recently found proof that a Welsh prince - Prince Rhodri - was buried at St Cybi's.

"It makes St Cybi's an exceptionally interesting church," he said.

"Bangor Cathedral is the only other known place with members of the Welsh royal house buried there."

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