Hitting poorest places hardest: the local and regional impact of welfare reform

A comprehensive analysis of the impact of welfare reform in the UK, from two professors at Sheffield Hallam University:

Hitting poorest places hardest 

Hungry for more: how churches can address the root causes of food poverty

A recent report from the Church Urban Fund:

Hungry for more

New Holy City programme announced: ‘Body … Flesh and bones and earthy faith’

From the Wild Goose Resource Group:

Holy City’s October to December 2013 programme is entitled ‘Body’ and explores and celebrates ways that flesh, bone, spirit, senses, head and heart are understood in historical and contemporary, biblical and church experience. Each evening consists of participative, reflective workshops and liturgy engaging body, mind and spirit. 

The three events will be on the first Sunday of the month: 6th October, 3rd November, 1st December 2013 at 6.30-9.30pm in Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Holy City

Holy City Postcard

Job vacancies at Camas Adventure Centre

Are you looking for an alternative, counter-cultural and spiritually challenging way to live and work? Then consider joining the Resident Staff at Camas, to share a common life and extend the Iona Community’s ministry of hospitality to guests from all over the world.

Camas is presently looking for a Resident Staff Team Member for Activities and Expeditions and a Resident Staff Team Member/Gardener.

For more information and an application form

Camas Activity

Kayaking in Camas Bay, photo ©

Hadeel: Fair Trade Palestinian Crafts – new monthly newsletter

Hadeel is now sending out a monthly newsletter, which includes news from their suppliers, information about special offers and events, recipe ideas – and lots more. To receive the newsletter, email: [email protected] The September 2013 newsletter can be seen by clicking here

Hadeel, part of the charity Palcrafts, sells fairly traded handcrafted goods from social enterprises in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon, and Fair Trade organisations in Israel.

123 George Street


Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, Runa Mackay and Carol Morton at the reopening of Hadeel in Edinburgh in March

Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, member Runa Mackay and associate Carol Morton at the reopening of Hadeel in Edinburgh in March, photo ©

Iona Continentals Meeting, 17- August, Sweden

From associate Helen Egnell in Sweden:

The sun shone constantly as some 40 Iona friends, associates and members from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Finland and Sweden gathered for the Continentals meeting in Sweden, August 16-18.

Quite a few of the participants had gathered the day before to take part in a guided walk around Stockholm, which was appreciated by everyone.

The meeting was held at Björkögården in the archipelago of Stockholm, with access to the sea and beautiful nature all around, explored in a short pilgrim walk on Sunday.

The theme of the meeting was ‘Peace by peace’. Leader Peter Macdonald spoke about the Community’s peace witness. He stressed that while some members do very daring things, like symbolically disarming warships, the seemingly small everyday work for peace is important too.

Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University (, gave a presentation about ‘civil courage’, with examples of people who have stood up for what is right – from people who defied the Nazis in the 1930s to the two Swedish schoolgirls who refused to sing Christmas carols for the staff at the weapons factory Bofors.

There was plenty of room for talk in small groups, informal chats during meals, an Iona-style ‘concert’, and of course worship, beautifully prepared by the different country groups.

This was the third Iona Continentals meeting, and all agreed that these gatherings are very important. The next Continentals meeting will be in Germany in 2015.

Photo album of the Continentals Meeting

Iona Continentals Meeting 2013, photo © Irene Stok

Iona Continentals Meeting 2013, photo © Irene Stok

South East England Associate Members Group Spring 2014 Gathering

From associate David Bamber:

Spring 2014 gathering: 25th–27th April 2014 at St Cuthman’s Retreat Centre, Coolham, Horsham, West Sussex

Speaker/Leader Reverend Canon Claire Edwards (Canterbury Cathedral)

Further details available from John Bown (see Members book).

Tribute to friend of the Community Ian Cramb (1928–2013)

From member Katherine Rennie:

Ian Cramb, who died on July 8th, 2013 at his home in Bangor, Pennsylvania, was well known to some early members of the Iona Community.

He was born in Dunblane in February 1928, and worked under his father as an apprentice stonemason. It was as a young stonemason that he went over to Iona in the 1950s to help with the restoration of the Abbey buildings.

Ian told me how George MacLeod had gone round to his home to persuade him to join the craftsmen on Iona, and that his father had supported George in encouraging him to go – so off he went!

Member John Harvey, then a trainee minister, recalls working with Ian for three weeks on the scullery of the Abbey kitchen. He recalled that Ian worked very fast – and that he found it difficult to keep up with him. When they stopped for coffee breaks the other craftsmen would say: ‘Slow down, Ian – or we’ll finish the job too quickly!’

Ian went on to rebuild and set by hand the arches in the Cloisters.

Ian told me many stories of his experiences on Iona when I visited him in Pennsylvania in October 2012, and again in May 2013. His relationship with George led to his move to the United States to do work at the Kirkridge Retreat Centre in Pennsylvania, whose founder, John Oliver Nelson, was a friend of George’s and had been to Iona.

Ian was also asked to build a stone house on Antigua for the rock guitarist Eric Clapton, training local people in the process. He and Eric were good friends, and Eric wrote to him regularly during his last illness.

In the early 1990s Ian wrote the definitive work on stonemasonery, entitled ‘The Art of the Stonemason’. He proudly showed me a copy on one of my visits to his home.

Ian’s last years were spent in Bangor with his wife, Betty, and son John; and Jean Richardson, the Director of the Kirkridge Retreat Center, and other Kirkridge staff did much to help and support them.

Ian was a delightful person and I feel privileged that I was able to get to know him a little, albeit in the last few months of his life.

Katherine Rennie

Courage, Faith and Cheerfulness: when George met Colum – a creative and thought-provoking new movie from members David Coleman and Pat Livingstone

Courage, Faith and Cheerfulness



A prayer for late autumn, by Ruth Burgess

Walk with us, God,
through sharp frosty days
and bright crunchy leaves
into winter.

Rest with us
by warm firesides
and tell us stories
into the night.

Take us out at night
and show us the stars
and fill us
with wonder.

Bless us and our families
our friends
and our neighbours
with love and with courage.

And never let us forget
the stranger
who needs to share our wealth,
our shelter
and our hope.

Ruth Burgess, from Acorns and Archangels, Wild Goose Publications

Acorns and Archangels

Wild Goose Publications

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2 Responses to E-Coracle October

  1. Brenda Pyle says:

    Thank you for the pre view into the contence of the Coracle. Iona and Glasgow can seem very far away here in the Netherlands and reading this brings the Iona Community and all its work and concerns closer. On Friday we have our family group meeting for this part of the Netherlands so we can be discussing some of the points mentioned in the Newsletter. Thank you.
    Brenda Pyle

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