The Community of Brendan the Navigator

Cumann Breandán Naofa

Welcome to the community of brendan the navigator

Who are We?

The Community of Brendan the Navigator (Cumann Breandán Naofa) is an evolving, dispersed community in the Church of Ireland with membership from across the island of Ireland. Made up of lay and ordained members we are open to membership from all Christian traditions.

Cumann Breandán Naofa logo full
hcurch door

What Are We?

The Community seeks to promote the practice of pilgrimage, prayer, contemplation and retreat. All are welcome – Just as they are. We promote the practice of listening and not judging. Each pilgrim is on a journey and it is not for any human to dictate someone else’s walk with God.

Where are We?

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please continue reading and consider signing up to our email list and check out the Facebook page.

saint brendan

A Message from Founder and Vicar of the community,
Rev. Máirt Hanley
Rector of Baltinglass

In the Spring edition 2018 of Search (A Church of Ireland Journal), I had an article calling for the foundation of a religious community in the Church of Ireland, which would seek to promote the practice of pilgrimage, contemplation, prayer and retreat.
In a very short time, I had a very positive response and so decided to launch such a community for lay and ordained persons who are interested. I have been very influenced by the Iona community and the Community of Aidan and Hilda and there may be elements of what I am trying to achieve in those communities. But I believe we need one of our own. In this site you will find some of the proposal for the beginning of a community.
I think we also need a space which is beyond many of the issues that are contentious in the church.
There are other organisations and lobbying group that take stances on all sorts of things. Our Community is not for that but to help us all walk together, remembering that there is One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.
The Community of Brendan the Navigator is a fresh and exciting expression of the Gospel message and to that extent has the potential to transform lives

Brendan the Navigator

Born in Tralee in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, Brendan founded his monastic school in Clonfert, where the present cathedral with its outstandingly beautiful West Door recalls a great tradition. Brendan’s travels, not only to Aghadown (Galway), but also among many islands round the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, and further still to Iceland, have stirred the imagination of many.

The Feast Day of Brendan the Navigator is May 16th

We Aim To:

Proclaim the Kingdom by being publicly visible in Pilgrimage

Teach and nurture believers through reflection and contemplation rooted in the Holy Scriptures.

Tend to human need by making space for people to take time for God and self; and by walking alongside any who wish to explore how Christ is working in the world; and to listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Transform unjust structures and pursue peace and reconciliation by providing a safe space for all, reflecting on God’s presence in all situations and supporting church and other agencies in practical ways through our events.

Treasure Creation through seeing our Creator God in all that has been made; and seeing our deepest identity in being created in the image of God; celebrating being creative as part of a lively faith; seeking inspiration from our Early Irish Church/Celtic Christian spiritual heritage.



God of sea and land, you endowed your servant Brendan with a bold and adventurous spirit to occupy himself for your business on the great waters and revealed to him your wonders in the deep: Make us, who recall with thanksgiving his life and ministry, zealous to be pioneers and pilgrims for the faith of Christ; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Among the Cloud of Irish Witnesses

Prayer of St. Brendan the Navigator

Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown. Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You to be stronger than each storm within me. I will trust in the darkness and know that my times, even now, are in Your Hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven, and somewhere, make my obedience count for You.


saint brendan



It says enough to bind us. Everything else is a matter of personal faith. This should be enough to keep us from heresy without excluding anyone.

Community Involvement

One may join if you have attended at least two events; one should then commit to attending four events a year and be regular in contemplation and public worship.

Personal Spiritual Discipline

This is up to each member to figure out for themselves and could involve several practices. There should be three and whilst there may be short term disciplines taken up, the three should be for a year or more. These should be professed publicly, possibly at a community service.

Every member would commit to regular contemplation, annual retreat and to undertake four pilgrim events a year. Every member should have a companion to walk with them on their journey. This may be a spiritual director/companion, confessor or any like-minded soul.


To get in touch with the Community of Brendan the Navigator, please send a message via the contact form or email

You can also contact us via our Facebook page.