Walking the breadline: the scandal of food poverty in 21st-century Britain, a report by Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam


Download the report here:

Walking the breadline (pdf)

Stop Climate Chaos

Stop Climate Chaos is the UK’s largest group dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition brings together more than 100 organisations from across civil society to put pressure on the UK government to deliver on its commitments at home and show climate leadership internationally. The Iona Community is a member of Stop Climate Chaos.

For present SCC campaigns:

Stop Climate Chaos campaigns 


Scottish Churches Housing Action announces plans for seminar on homelessness:
Glasgow, 4 October 2013

Scottish Churches Housing Action, the charity bringing together the Scottish churches on homelessness issues, has announced plans for its annual seminar, to be held at the Renfield Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow, on Friday 4 October.

Entitled Churches and Homelessness – a reflection, the seminar will hear from four distinguished speakers. Lt-Col Iain Barr of the Salvation Army will explore the biblical and historical roots of today’s commitment to tackling homelessness; Rev Richard Frazer of Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh will tell the story of the Grassmarket Project, established by the Greyfriars congregation; Grant Campbell of Glasgow City Mission will describe his work with homeless people in Glasgow; and Rev Sally Foster-Fulton of the Church & Society Council will describe how churches challenge the structures that lead to homelessness and exclusion.

Alastair Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Churches Housing Action, says: ‘I’m delighted to have assembled this eminent cast to help us reflect on the motivations and realities of tackling homelessness in Scotland in the 21st century. We will reflect on how we got to where we are today, celebrate the churches’ commitment, and look at how we can continue to campaign for justice for homeless people.’

The seminar will attract those leading and working in volunteer activities to help homeless people; church members and leaders; housing and care professionals and students. The booking form, which includes a note of costs, can be downloaded at

SCHA seminar


Irish President visits Iona

In July, Irish President Michael D. Higgins visited Iona to commemorate the 1450th Anniversary of St Columba/Colmcille’s arrival on the island. The President was welcomed by Peter Macdonald, Leader of the Iona Community, among others. For photos of the visit and to read the President’s keynote address ‘Of Migrants and Migration’:

Irish President visits Iona

Reflections by Iona Community members Ruth Harvey, Elaine Gisbourne and Stephen Wright, from The Way: the newspaper of the Church in Cumbria

Iona Community members Ruth Harvey, Elaine Gisbourne and Stephen Wright, from the Cumbria Family Group, have recently published some lovely reflections on the Iona Community and the Iona experience in the newspaper The Way. Read their pieces here (download the pdfs below – then zoom them up, Ed.)

Elaine Gisbourne and Ruth Harvey

Stephen Wright

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Members, associates and friends

Cathy McCormack’s blogs to God

Cathy is a long-term campaigner on poverty, housing, health and climate change. Her biography ‘The Wee Yellow Butterfly’ is a local-global story providing a critical analysis of the world war against the poor and working classes that was waged under Thatcher, New Labour and American administrations – a ‘war without bullets’ being fought with briefcases instead of guns, which has intensified under the Coalition government.

To read Cathy’s very down-to-earth blogs to God


The Kindling Trust: igniting passion & fuelling action for social change


Friend of the Community and former Iona volunteer Helen Woodcock, who holds a Master of Science degree in organic farming, is co-founder of MERCI, Manchester’s first Centre for Sustainable Living. Lately, Helen has been working with the Kindling Trust. The Trust’s aim is to work towards a just and ecologically sustainable society by establishing practical working examples of that. For more information about the Kindling Trust and to help support its grassroots work:

The Kindling Trust

Helen is also a joint winner of the International Service Human Rights Award for Women, which she won with Guatemalan activist Dominga Vasquez. For an interview with Helen on ‘Woman’s Hour’:

An interview with Helen Woodcock

Scottish Women: A Documentary History, 1780–1914

Scottish Women 

Member Lesley Orr is co-editor of this major new book from Edinburgh University Press, illustrating the experience of Scottish women.

From the book blurb:

Drawing on a wide range of source materials from across Scotland, this sourcebook provides new insights into women’s attitudes to the society in which they lived, and how they negotiated their identities within private and public life.

Organised in thematic chapters, it moves from the private and intimate experiences of sexuality, health and sickness to Scotswomen’s migrations across the British empire, illustrating many facets of women’s lives – domesticity and waged work, defiance of law and convention, religious faith and respectability, political action and public influence. A range of fascinating and rich source material sheds new light on the lives of women across Scotland throughout the long nineteenth century, demonstrating the pervasiveness of discourses of appropriate feminine behaviour, but also women’s subversion of this. It raises challenging questions for researchers about the identification of women’s voices, where these have been muted by class, religion or ethnicity, while at the same time providing a methodology for uncovering these.

Thought-provoking and innovative, this text will prove an invaluable resource for students, teachers and researchers. It will enable them to discover new ways of understanding the Scottish past and serve as a guide to redressing the gender imbalance of historical narratives.

For more information:

Scottish Women: a documentary history, 1780-1914

Scottish Women: A documentary history

News from Iona Community member Ruth Goodheir

Ruth Goodheir’s series of nineteen paintings ‘The Light Shines through the Darkness’ is now part of the Westhill Endowment, based in Birmingham. The Endowment makes artwork available for exhibition in churches and community centres without charge. A DVD of Ruth being interviewed about the paintings accompanies the exhibition. For more information:

The Light Shines through the Darkness


From ‘The Light Shines through the Darkness’ © Ruth Goodheir

The Moot Community is looking for a Host Café Project Coordinator

From the Moot Community:

The Moot Community is a missional progressive new monastic community in the City of London. We are seeking someone to join our trainee scheme to become a Host Café Project Coordinator. The job description and advert can be found here. Deadline: 16th September 2013.

The Moot Community


WHAT IS HARVEST? (from a Harvest liturgy)

Voice 1: What is harvest? Harvest is a time of hope:
We have bread, warmth and shelter for tomorrow.

Voice 2: What is harvest? Harvest is a time of fear:
Our crops have failed, jobs are lost, a hard winter is to come.

Voice 1: What is harvest? Harvest is a time of plenty:
We receive with joy good gifts from God.

Voice 2: What is harvest? Harvest is a time of empty shelves:
We work the fields and factories but now go without.

Voice 1: What is God’s harvest? Plough the fields and scatter:
a marrow on the altar and a tin of beans for charity?

Voice 2: What is God’s harvest? God’s harvest is justice lived out with joy:
food and fairness for today and tomorrow.


From the download ‘Ruth’s Harvest: Resources for Harvest’, by Tim Aldred, Wild Goose Publications

Tim Aldred has worked in the international development sector since 1996. Previously he worked as Head of Policy and Communications at Progressio. Currently he works as Head of Policy and Research at the Fairtrade Foundation. He is an associate member of the Iona Community.

Ruth’s Harvest

For more downloads from Wild Goose

Wild Goose Publications

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