Day of Climate Action, from Christian Aid, 17th June, 2015

‘It’s time to regain a sense that our relationship with the earth is about communion, not consumption …’

– Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid

It’s time to protect the people and places threatened by climate change – and create a brighter future.

So this year we’ll be coming together to tell the newly elected Government to do the right thing, stand up to vested interests and make climate change their number one priority.

When: Wednesday, 17 June, 2015

Where: Central London

Come and tell your MP and the Government that the time for climate action is NOW.

It will be a day filled with music, debate and worship. It will be a day of friendship, solidarity and hope.

Join us.

To sign up


Kairos Unbound in Scotland!, 25th April, 2015, from member Alison Swinfen

A day for those interested in peace and justice in Palestine and Israel to engage with Kairos Britain and learn about the Call to Action. During the day you will find out more about the international Kairos movement, including its roots in Kairos Palestine, and how you can campaign, advocate and pray for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.

 Saturday April 25th, 10am-4pm, Wellington Church, 77 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LE

For more information or to book your place, please contact [email protected]

Scrap Trident: Glasgow demo: 4 April, and Faslane blockade: 13 April, 2015

From Scrap Trident Coalition:

Following the success of the 2013 Weekend of Protest and Action, the Scrap Trident Coalition has called for a national demonstration in Glasgow on 4 April 2015 and a Big Blockade of Faslane on 13 April.

Scotland and the UK have had nuclear weapons for 50 years. With spending on health, education, pensions and disability benefits being slashed, the government is replacing Trident at a cost of £100 billion. We want Scotland and the world free of nuclear weapons and call for Trident to be scrapped and human needs funded.

4th April Glasgow demo: assemble 10.30am George Square, march 11am, rally 12 noon. Speakers to be announced.

Blockade training and accommodation in Glasgow Sunday, 12th April. Transport to Faslane available.

Blockade briefing

Scrap Trident



Make It Happen: International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2015

International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.

Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for the global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.




Fairtrade Fortnight 2015, 23 February–8 March, 2015, from Fairtrade Fortnight

We’ve come so far since the first Fairtrade Fortnight in 1995, educating the public on why to choose Fairtrade and increasing sales on Fairtrade terms for marginalised producers. Over the past 20 years, together we’ve made the Fairtrade mark the biggest and best-known ethical label in the UK.

78% of the UK public recognise the Fairtrade Mark. From UK sales alone, £26m of Fairtrade Premium was invested by producers in 2013.

But we know there is still a long way to go to make all trade fair – just 1.2% of cocoa and less than 10% of tea globally is traded on Fairtrade terms.

So for Fairtrade Fortnight 2015, we’re going to celebrate the impact of Fairtrade and ask you to turn a spotlight on the producers who grow the products we love. By sharing their stories in a fresh and compelling way, we can remind the UK of the dramatic difference choosing Fairtrade makes and how much it is still needed.

We’re focusing on a few core commodities – cocoa, sugar and tea – in new materials, case studies and a brand new 15 minute film

Whether you’re an individual or part of a Fairtrade group, there will be opportunities to take action – including asking businesses directly to switch to Fairtrade in a ‘stock it’ challenge.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Foundation


From the Fairtrade Fortnight website ©







Justice Mail: transforming congregational life, from friend of the Community John Hull

It is so easy for congregations to become inward-looking. If the church is to grow, local transformation is essential. The problem, however, is to know where to start.

Justice Mail provides a list of 22 approved organisations, such as Christian Aid, Amnesty International, Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam. Folk select their action suggestions from the current interests of these organisations. E-mail action requests are sent out once a fortnight and it only takes list members a few minutes to respond to the link that has been provided for them. In this way people become more aware of some of the great issues of the day, such as tax avoidance, third-world debt and climate change. Their messages join with hundreds of others and are often surprisingly effective.

The Fourth Mark of Mission, agreed by the Church of England, the Methodist Church and other denominations, is ‘to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation’. The churches attached to Justice Mail find that this simple tool increases the number of well-informed and active members in their congregation, and, step by step, may bring about a change of culture towards church growth and Christian mission.

Justice Mail has branches in several parts of the West Midlands, from Chester to Nottingham. The Anglican Diocese of Lichfield has adopted Justice Mail as one of its favoured resources for bringing about congregational transformation.

If you would like to start a Justice Mail list in your congregation, the Justice Mail website gives advice on how to do it.

Justice Mail is for busy people who want to reform the church and to change the world. It works and it’s free!

Justice Mail

 Members, associates and friends

Peace pirates charged with vandalism at Faslane, from Trident Ploughshares

On 22nd February, a Trident Ploughshares activist was arrested and charged with vandalism at Faslane naval base, while two others were detained after pinning a set of ‘Peace Pirate Articles’ to the fence. The three have all been released from custody. Jean Oliver, Janet Fenton and David Mackenzie are known as the Peaton Peace Pirates (the ‘PPP’) …

The Peace Pirate Articles:

Article 1 – WE be committed to disarming the UK Trident of them dastardly nuclear weapons.

Article 2 – WE be committed to acting with no fisticuffs, slagging off or any other pesky and violent actions.

Article 3 – WE will tell any landlubber or sea(wo)man who asks why we are there and what we be a doing of.

Article 4 – WE will cite the articles from Nuremberg, Geneva and the 1996 ICJ ruling and some other legal doings what we are experts on, to all who ask what we be up to and why.



From the Trident Ploughshares website ©

Some news from members

‘OUT OF AFRICA INTO MALTA’, from associate Peter Lloyd in Malta

St Andrew’s Scots Church in Valletta, Malta is a local ecumenical partnership between the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church of Great Britain. We have been actively engaged in supporting irregular migrants for some years now, and encouraged by the World Mission Committee we launched our ‘Out of Africa into Malta’ project. There are currently two main elements to ‘Out of Africa …’ The first is Malta Microfinance, our financial institution that lends to the poor, helping mainly migrants and women. The other key component is the new International Centre in the former crypt of the church where we have English language teaching to over 100 migrants to help them integrate into Maltese society. Led by my wife, Elizabeth, we have seven volunteer teachers working with over 50 students on Monday and Thursday evenings, and a second group of teachers working on Wednesday evenings. We work with other NGOs in Malta who support migrants. All this work is particularly timely with the terrible news of some 300 migrants drowned off Libya recently.

Malta Microfinance

THE STORY OF JACQUES, from Associate Maureen Connell in Rwanda 

I am an associate of the Community, working in Rwanda. I don’t do this usually but this story is so poignant and typical of Sub-Saharan Africa – and the request so worthwhile – that I wanted to pass it on to Community members. Alex is a colleague of mine working in Butare, who keeps a regular blog.

Many thanks, Maureen Connell

The Story of Jacques


Candles in Iona Abbey © David Coleman

New Warden on Iona/Programme Development Worker appointed

Rosie Magee has been appointed as the new Warden on Iona. Rosie is an associate of the Iona Community. Also, Pat Bennett has recently been appointed as Programmes Development Worker. Pat is a member of the Community.

More news about Rosie and Pat in the spring edition of Coracle!

Hope you’re settling in nicely, Rosie – and congratulations, Pat (Ed.)

Vacancies on Iona

The Iona Community is currently advertising the following posts on Iona:

Islands Staffing Coordinator

Contract date: 1st April 2015 – August 2016

Deadline for applications 23:59 GMT 2nd March 2015

Finance Assistant

Contract dates: ASAP – 30th September 2016

Deadline for applications 23:59 GMT 2nd March 2015

For information and application forms


Photo by David Coleman ©

Upcoming weeks on Iona and at Camas

For 2015 weeks on Iona and at Camas:

2015 Programme at the Abbey and MacLeod Centre

2015 Camas Programme

2015 Islands Brochure

Sound of Iona

From the 2015 Islands Brochure, photo ©

Holy City 2014-15: ‘Normal service … will not be (p)resumed, from the Wild Goose Resource Group

Scotland has had its Referendum; the die has been cast and normality has been restored. Or has it? Is a new normal appearing?

Jesus repeatedly challenged ‘business-as-usual’ and the status quo. His words and actions – often starkly – called into question the assumptions, prejudices and complacencies of his society. He set out an alternative, perhaps even an abnormal narrative: that of the upside-down kingdom.

In Holy City’s 2014-15 ‘Normal Service’, we’ll be questioning some of the accepted norms of our land, and of the world today. We’ll be looking at aspects such as community, health, money, media, language, environment, status, imagination and power.

How do we move beyond our own experience and self-interest towards a collaborative and compassionate commonweal? How can we translate good and faithful intentions into meaningful actions which have real and lasting consequences? And will we allow the truth to set us free? Or are we comfortable and content with resumed normal service?

For 2015 dates and times of Holy City


‘Where’s the justice?’, 7th March, 2015, from the South West England Family Group, from member David Osborne

A regional conference open to all: Saturday 7th March, 2015, 11.00am to 4.00pm at Mint Methodist Church, Fore Street, Exeter, EX4 3AT

It is clear from the Bible that people are to look and work for justice in society: justice that is rooted in God’s concern for the disadvantaged, the powerless and the poor. What should we be looking for and doing as we approach a General Election? This day conference is for members, associates and friends of the Iona Community.

The day will include: an introduction and overview of the justice issues in the South West, from Martyn Goss, Director of Church and Society in the Diocese of Exeter; reflection from Tim Gorringe, Emeritus Professor of Theological Studies at the University of Exeter; small group explorations of the different issues; news from the Iona Community in South West England and worldwide; music and worship in the Iona Community-style; shared lunch and an opportunity to meet other people in the Iona movement.

Contributions towards expenses are invited: suggestion £7.50. Booking is not essential but would be helpful. Please bring something for lunch to share with others. Coffee provided from 10:30am.

For more information and to book, contact: David Osborne (see Members Book).

Pathways to Prayer: an ecumenical event, 14th March, 2015, Troon, Scotland, from friend of the Community Deaconess Chris King

Saturday 14th March 2015, St Meddan’s Church, Troon, Ayrshire, 10.15am – 4pm (Registration 9.45 – 10.15)

Prayer is our lifeblood!

This annual ecumenical event has been running since 1990. Do come and join us – it is a wonderfully relaxing day of friendship and sharing that will deepen your prayer life.

Choose three of the five sessions available:

Rev Jane Ross – ‘Prayer walking’

Fr Martin Chambers – ‘God of mystery and creation’

Deaconess Chris King – ‘Lord teach us to pray’

Deacon Jo Love (from the Wild Goo0se Resource Group) – ‘To sing is to pray twice’

Mrs Gail Montgomery – ‘Healing within the Church’

Registration fee £9 (unwaged £5)

Lunch will be provided – donation welcome.

For more information and to register

Pathways to Prayer 

Big Sing: Music for Holy Week, led by Alison Adam, 29th March, 2015, from the Dee Family Group

Palm Sunday, March 29th, 2015 at 6.30 pm, St Bridget’s Centre, Church Road, West Kirby

All welcome. Refreshments available.

No admission charge but donations appreciated.

Please e-mail Margaret Smith (see Members Book) to let folk know you are coming.

Associate members group in Yorkshire, from Yorkshire associate members and group Coordinators, Rosalyn Sutcliffe and Hilary Blake

The Iona Community Associate Members group in Yorkshire meets three times a year, in York in February and November, for an afternoon session starting with a bring-and-share lunch, often hearing from a speaker and ending with worship; in the summer we have a full-day meeting, which gives more space for people to get to know each other and usually time for a Big Sing too. Last summer we met at Holy Rood House in Thirsk, and this year we are heading to Ilkley. Members, associate members and friends are all welcome to any of our meetings and we particularly encourage members to join us at the summer gathering. For further details please contact Rosalyn Sutcliffe or Hilary Blake (see Members Book). Our remaining meetings this year are as follows:

Saturday 18 July, The Sanctuary Centre, 6 Church Street, Ilkely

Coffee will be available from 10am, and we will begin with opening worship at 10.30am. There will be plenty of time during the day to catch up with folk you’ve not seen for a while and to get to know new people. We’ll hear from John and Nancy Eckersley, who have walked many miles to raise many thousands of pounds for Christian Aid along the way. As usual we will have a bring-and-share lunch. If the weather is fine we’ll picnic in the local park, if not we’ll eat inside, but there will still be time to wrap up and explore the park or local area. We’ll end the day with worship, finishing between 3.30 and 4pm.

 Saturday 14 November, Central Methodist Church, York

We will start with our usual bring-and-share lunch from 12.30pm, followed by planning for our meetings in 2016. We will then be joined by Jan Sutch Pickard – writer, storyteller, Ecumenical Accompanier and former Warden of Iona Abbey. Jan will speak to us on the topic of ‘Telling the story’, and we will also share worship together. We aim to finish the afternoon around 4pm.

Letting go with grace: the Iona Community at Shepherd’s Dene, 6th-9th November, 2015

A Courage Circle retreat led by Rev. Dr Jean Richardson, a Courage and Renewal Facilitator, trained by Parker Palmer (

Our lives are always in transition and change. This retreat will explore the times of our lives when we are called to let go, knowing that transition is part of life’s journey.

The retreat will explore the theme of ‘holding and letting go’ and how the balance affects both the big questions of our lives and the little decisions we face every day.

For more details, a booking form and info about the fee, contact Katherine Rennie (see Members Book).


A statement of faith

We believe in God,
who made the sun and the sky, the stars and the sea,
who calls us to live responsibly.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
who became human
who healed the sick
who talked to children
who made friends with sinners.
He burned brightly and offended many.
His journey was one of life and death and resurrection.
His light continues to shine in darkness.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who inspires the scriptures
and whose breath we breathe.

We believe that God calls us to be a community,
committed to one another
offering a welcome to everyone
old and young
rich and poor
strong and weak.

We believe that God calls us to be peacemakers
workers for justice
brothers and sisters
a light for our world.


– Written by two fourteen-year-old boys on Iona

 From Eggs and Ashes: Practical and Liturgical Resources for Holy Week and Lent, by Ruth Burgess & Chris Polhill, Wild Goose Publications


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