Nepal Earthquake Appeal, from Christian Aid

Tired, hungry, and with rain on the way, survivors of the deadly Nepal earthquake will have little respite in the coming days.

The need for clean water, food, shelter and medical care is urgent.

Nepal Earthquake Appeal


‘Scrap Trident’ demo in Glasgow

There were many well-kent faces at the Scrap Trident demo on 4th April – which SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon called: ‘the biggest anti-Trident demo in George Square ever’!

Some great photos of the day by Community member David Coleman










Photo © David Coleman

Scrap Trident Blockade Shuts Down Faslane, from Trident Ploughshares

‘The Scrap Trident blockade of the UK’s nuclear weapons base at Faslane on April 13 was a huge success, with the gates blocked from 7am until 1.30pm …’

For a full report


‘Normal service … will not be (p)resumed’: Holy City 2015, 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?

Each Holy City evening consists of participative, reflective activities and liturgy engaging body, mind and spirit.

Holy City is a monthly event, a rendezvous of faithful folk, curious enquirers and compelling doubters, drawn from the whole, glorious spectrum of Christian tradition, its edges and beyond. All are welcome, irrespective of practice or preference.

Holy City is organised by the Wild Goose Resource Group of the Iona Community – John L. Bell, Jo Love and Graham Maule – and a fine and motley crew of citizens – the immaculate Holy City Planning Group, and in collaboration with Renfield St Stephens Church & the Iona Community.

For 2015 dates and times


Solas Festival 2015, 19th-21st June

The Solas Festival takes place in the Bield at Blackruthven. The festival aims to create a generous, hospitable space in Scotland where the arts can be performed and enjoyed by all. The programme also makes space for challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum. Solas Festival offers a creative and entertaining programme for festival-goers of all ages in a safe environment.

Last year’s festival in two minutes

This year’s line-up

Solas Festival


Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is a programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches, founded in response to a call from the local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem that brings internationals to the West Bank. Since 2002, over 1,500 volunteers have come for 3 months to be Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) …












Photo from the EAPPI website ©

 Members, associates and friends

My story: poverty, truth and dreams, by Georgina Shields

Georgina Shields is a Commissioner of the Poverty Truth Commission, and a former volunteer on Iona and regular guest at Camas. This powerful talk was given at the recent launch of Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland, by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

My story: poverty, truth and dreams


Photo ©

Be a guest at the Abbey or MacLeod Centre in 2015

There are still spaces at the Abbey and Mac during various weeks in 2015 – particularly at these times:

At the Abbey: 25-April-1 May, 2-8 May, 9-15 May: all Open Weeks (see Special offers); during Community Week in August; and during Associates Week, 3-9 October …

At the MacLeod Centre: Most Mac weeks, but particularly: August 29-4 September; 5-11 September; 12-18 September; and during Community Week in October …

Also, there are spaces in the two winter quiet weeks and at Christmas, all 7 nighters: 10-17 November; 21-8 November; 22-9 December.

For more information and to book:

Call Carol at the Abbey on 01681 700404 or email [email protected]

2015 Islands Programme

2015 Islands brochure

PageLines- resources.jpg

Photo ©

Camas Family Week – full week: 23rd-29th May/Long weekend: 23rd-26th May

Family week at Camas


2015 Camas Programme

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

A Courage Circle retreat led by Rev. Dr Jean Richardson, a Courage & Renewal Facilitator trained by Parker Palmer ( (Jean is also Director of the Kirkridge Retreat Center in the U.S.)

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 and a booking form, contact Katherine Rennie (see Members Book).


In a time of austerity: from a demo for the end of Benefit sanctions, from associate Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty

Let’s remember all who have died
while their income was sanctioned by a job centre,
who were overcome by any feelings of humiliation or shame,
by fear or distrust,
insecurity or loneliness;
or by a sense of being trapped and powerless
under the abuses of power by the State
in a time of austerity.

And pray in solidarity with the thousands of UK citizens
currently suffering sanctions,
which are imposed with the maximum use of the media
to blame decent people for their own unemployment and poverty,
including those who would like to be demonstrating outside the DWP with us today.

For the millions of UK citizens
who are suffering under unmanageable debts due to high rents,
the Council Tax,
the caps and cuts in social security imposed by Parliament,
made worse by sanctions.

We pray, too, for those in power,
and seeking power on the 7th May,
that they may find:

the courage to work for and implement social and economic justice;

the will to build a ‘well-being state’ on the ashes of the welfare state,
in which rich and poor and Parliament
are in solidarity with each other;

the policies to ensure that no one will have to choose between
heating or eating,
the rent or the streets,
life or death,
due to the unjust enforcement of debts against inadequate incomes,
or no incomes at all,
or due to a sanction.

In the name of Jesus Christ …


– Rev. Paul Nicolson

Taxpayers Against Poverty


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2 Responses to E-coracle April

  1. mary beebe crofts says:

    It’s too bad and so sad that the organizers of the recent protest in Baltimore in the USA didn’t follow the leaders of the Trident protest (this year and those before). Their protest went from a good and right cause to riots and looting and destruction. The reason for the protest is now lost in the aftermath of the damage the protesters did. In contrast, the “annual” Trident protest, not only was enthusiastic (to say the least) and it was PEACEFUL. They got their point across without hurting anyone or anything.
    And now, we in Oregon, hear that the organizers of the Baltimore “protest” are headed our way to Oregon to “protest” on “May Day”. They didn’t say what they plan to “protest” against…just that they’re going to “protest”. Portland could end up being another Baltimore. The organizers of protests like these give legitimate protests as really sour image.

  2. Martyn Howie says:

    Across the UK the numbers using food banks increases and those on benefits are treated little better than those living under the 1834 Poor Law, where those on Job seekers allowance claim under a system where failure to apply for an arbitrary set number of jobs can see your benefit stopped for a period of a month. A period when the job seeker has no money for food…heat.. light a period during which time they still have to sign on sometimes at a job centre some 10 miles away every week…a policy which sees employers getting applications from totally unsuitable applicants… a policy which sees job seekers waste precious time and money applying for jobs which they haven’t a prayer of getting. Demonising the poor isn’t a new phenomenon indeed the 1834 Report stated “Every penny bestowed that tends to render the condition of the pauper more eligible than that of the independent labourer, is a bounty on indolence and vice. We have found that as the poor’s rates are at present administered, they operate as bounties of this description, to the amount of several million annually”. A phrase which could be the backbone of a number of manifesto comittments on welfare on offer at this election couched with references to “hard working families” and “making work pay” Far too much emphasis has been placed on the welfare budget and cuts and not enough on tax and revenue raising

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