"1997 marks a number of significant anniversaries for the Church ... It is also the 1400th anniversary of the death of the great Irish visionary St. Columba and 1400 years since St. Augustine arrived in Britain." In 1997 the lives and witness of these two great saints will be celebrated throughout the British Isles and further afield." A small ecumenical group will begin a pilgrimage in Rome on 18 May 1997. They will travel through Italy and France and arrive in Canterbury on the Eve of the Feast of St. Augustine. On 26 May four hundred more pilgrims will make their way on three pilgrimage routes to Derry, near St. Columba's birthplace, to arrive in time for his feast day on 9 June.