St. Sebastian’s Church

The St. Sebastian’s Church, Negombo also known as St. Sebastian’s Church, Wella Veediya is a Roman Catholic church in Negombo, in Sri Lanka. It is patterned on the Reims Cathedral in France, and is built in Gothic style. Saint Sebastian is the patron saint of the city of Negombo.


The church is located on the San Sebastian street in Negombo city, which is to the north of Colombo. It is in the Gampaha District, a second town under the Colombo Metropolitan Regional Structural plan of the Urban Development Authority (UDA). It is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the Katunayake Airport, and is connected by the Colombo – Chilaw – Puttlam road.


The church was designed by Father G. Gannon, parish priest of Sea Street. Although the foundation stone was laid by the Archbishop of Colombo, Pierre-Guillaume Marque, on 2 February 1936, construction was not completed until ten years later. It replaced a smaller church to accommodate the increasing number of parishioners in the catholic majority city. It is said to be modeled in Gothic style on the lines of the Reems Cathedral in France. A shadow of this church is seen in the Negombo Lagoon.

This church is one of the many churches in Sri Lanka dedicated to St Sebastian who is considered a martyr in the Catholic Church history. His veneration is particularly celebrated seeking relief from epidemics. A festival called the “Feast of St Sebastian” is held every year here during the month of January. A tali drama narrating the Life of Sebastian used to be enacted here before 1950. Now, “Raja Tunkattuwa”, a Sinhalese language drama about the Three Kings is held here during Christmas.


At the St. Sebastian Church an annual festival dedicated to St. Sebastian is held on 20 January. On this occasion a decorated flagstaff is affixed at the church premises. Processions are also organized and food is served free to poor people.

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