The Iona Community at upcoming summer festivals

Summer is a time of festivals here in the UK and the Iona Community/Wild Goose Resource Group is taking part in a number of upcoming gatherings – so if you’re in the neighbourhood …

Heart & Soul 2016: People of the Way, Edinburgh, 22nd May 2016

Heart & Soul is a regular event to celebrate the life and work of the church, which takes place alongside the annual gathering of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly.

Heart & Soul


Photo from the Church of Scotland website (Heart and Soul 2015) ©

Solas Festival 2016, Blackruthven, Perthshire, 17th-19th June 2016

Solas takes place in the Bield at Blackruthven, Perthshire. The programme makes space for challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum. Solas offers a creative and entertaining programme for festival-goers of all ages in a safe environment.

The Peace Tent at Solas is jointly sponsored by organisations that work for peace and reconciliation and nurture spiritual and social growth within communities; in 2016: the Wild Goose Resource Group, the Corrymeela Community, Place for Hope, the Church of Scotland …



Photo from the Solas Festival website ©

Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, 22nd-26th June 2016

The Iona Community has had a presence at Glastonbury for many years now, with a tent and space in the corner of the Field of Avalon by the old railway track. Community folk offer a drop-in centre for conversation and worship and information on the Community and its concerns.

Glastonbury spiritual support


Iona Com at Glastonbury

The Iona Community at Glastonbury © Sheila Doig

Greenbelt Festival, Boughton Estate, Kettering, 26th-29th August 2016

The Iona Community and Wild Goose Resource Group will be in action at this year’s Greenbelt Festival, as part of the ‘Northern Lights’ partnership venue, with friends from the Corrymeela Community, Church Action on Poverty and Fischy Music. ‘Northern Lights’ will be smaller than previous years, with stalls, hospitality and talk-based sessions which may be pint-sized – but no less passionate! We also hope to be running sings, worship and other sessions in the larger ‘Shelter’ venue in a shared programme with other contributors.

If you’re coming to Greenbelt and can offer your enthusiastic presence on the Northern Lights stall for an hour or two, we are looking to confirm a volunteer rota as soon as possible. Please contact Pat Bennett: [email protected] Thank you.



Our friends at Fischy Music, from the Greenbelt website ©

Members, associates and friends

Upcoming weeks on Iona in 2016

There are still guest spaces open for weeks on Iona in 2016! So what are you waiting for? See you there!

Island Centres Programme 2016

To enquire and book


Meeting in the Cloisters © David Coleman

To get to Iona

To get to Iona
it takes me
the Underground
three trains
a coach
two ferries
and a fair bit of walking.

To get to Iona
it takes me
a bottle of water
and sometimes
on the boat
an egg-and-bacon butty.

To get to Iona
it takes me
The Guardian quick crossword
a book
a pen and some paper
and whatever magazines
people leave behind them
on the trains.

To get to Iona
it takes me
and often tears.

To get to Iona
it takes me
minutes and days
and the passing of years.

That’s what it takes me
to get to Iona.

What will it take you? …

Ruth Burgess, from Around a Thin Place: An Iona Pilgrimage Guide, Jane Bentley and Neil Paynter, Wild Goose Publications

Job vacancy with the Iona Community on Iona: Assistant Shop Manager

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

Deadline for applications for Assistant Shop Manager: 23:59 BST 5th May, 2016

For information and application forms

Community Week



Photo © David Coleman

Fundraising for a social project in Uganda, from Iona Resident and volunteer Dora Nyamwija

In summer 2015 Dora wrote in Coracle Dora Coracle article about her plans to construct toilets for special needs children in Uganda, her home country. Since then, Dora’s plans have greatly progressed.

An update here – with loads of photos – and a thank you to all Iona Community members and friends who have helped support the project.

Brilliant work, Dora.

Dora update on project

Accessible loos in Uganda







Dora on Iona ©

A Camas prayer

A gorgeous prayer here, by member Rachel McCann, for all the staff at Camas – as they get into the swing of another busy summer season:

Prayer for Camas staff

We pray for the Camas staff,
giving thanks for their creativity and commitment,
love and laughter,
passion and patience,
and all their work and wisdom.

As, with open hearts and skilful hands,
they welcome young people and care for the centre,
may they ‘grow in love, awareness and respect of self, others,
God and the earth’.*

May all of us, wherever we live,
welcome the stranger,
hear your whisper in the trees,
see your beauty as the heron soars
and honour all that you have created.

Rachel McCann, from In the Gift of This New Day: Praying with the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications

* From the Camas Mission Statement


The Camas Diary

Camas Activity

Photo from the Iona Community website ©

Saint Columba’s Day liturgy for Associates

A new Associates renewal liturgy for St Columba’s Day, by Programmes Development Worker Pat Bennett, is on its way to associates in the spring edition of Coracle. Other St Columba’s Day resources are available through Wild Goose Publications.

IMG_0991 - Version 3


Artwork © Kerry Davies

A Columba of Iona liturgy, Sunday 12th June, Glasgow, from Holy City

Holy City/WGRG will be hosting a ‘Columba of Iona liturgy’ on Sunday, 12 June 2016. Details to follow, or check:

Holy City




From Holy City ©

Iona Youth news

Iona Youth Resource Workers Chris Long and Sarah Evans are now – among many other things – busy getting ready for Junior Youth Festival and Summer Youth Festival on Iona. News to follow in Coracle or E-Coracle.

‘In school, people don’t care about things like ending poverty or Jesus stuff, but we fit here, ’cause there are lots of other people who are interested in that and I like that.’

– Quote from Junior Youth Festival




Iona Youth at Faslane © Iona Youth Department

‘Ordinary people speak truth to power at unique Scottish Parliament election hustings event’, from the Church of Scotland website

Georgina Shields, former Iona volunteer and Camas leader, was one who took part in this recent hustings event. Good goin’, Georgina! (Ed.)

From the Church of Scotland website:

‘Hundreds of people attended a unique Scottish Parliament election hustings event in Edinburgh in early April, organised by the Church of Scotland.

Leading representatives from the country’s main political parties responded directly to five ordinary people who spoke powerfully about their personal experiences and concerns on a broad range of issues including education, in-work poverty and community empowerment.

Georgina Shields, 22, Courtney McMurray, 18, Marie-Therese Martin and Tricia McConologue, who are all from Glasgow, and Blair Green from Bellshill, spoke powerfully and passionately about their lives, prompting candidates to explain how they would use the Scottish Parliament’s powers and budget to improve society.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney of the SNP, former Scottish Labour Party leader Iain Gray, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie and former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie also fielded questions from the audience …’



Photo from the Church of Scotland website ©

Iona Community AGM, 3rd-4th June 2016, Glasgow

Just a reminder that the Iona Community’s AGM will take place on Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th of June 2016, at St Silas Scottish Episcopal Church, 69 Park Rd, Glasgow, G4 9JE. See you there!






Wild geese © David Coleman

Right to Remain: a thank you from members Alison and Robert Swinfen in Glasgow

Before Christmas Robert and Alison contacted many members, associates and friends of the Iona Community, directly and via social media, about the crowdfunding appeal made by Right to Remain, which they both support as board members. This organisation was responsible for a great deal of support for many of their friends and foster family members over the year. It provides absolutely invaluable resources for tackling structural violence in the asylum system in the UK. Robert and Alison were incredibly touched and uplifted by the amount of support from the Iona Community. As a result of the considerable commitment made, Right to Remain can go ahead with the vital and life-saving developments of its work. Whilst the crowdfunding has now stopped as an appeal the organisation does need committed giving.

rtr-logo web



Liliana is free!, news from associate June Goudey in California

Back in 2008, and again in 2013, associate June Goudey gave news in Coracle about Liliana. The good news is that Liliana recently received her green card …

June writes: What can one say? The long-awaited news arrives; we are speechless even as joy leaps from our hearts! Liliana called to say she is holding her green card granting her permanent residency status and the ability to apply for US citizenship. This news – 8 years in the making – has been crafted by many hands and hearts, many letters and phone calls, and prayers too numerous to count – so many prayers … and tears. Now Liliana is free! What more need be said? Simply this: Deo Gracias! …

To all the many members of the Iona Community working for justice for refugees and asylum seekers: Stay the course. We were told Liliana’s case was unwinnable but built an interfaith coalition that remained steadfast. Even so, it took 8 years of intentional effort. May the Spirit guide all in the Community who take the long view when it comes to justice.

Love and blessings, June

Liliana and Pablito new

Liliana and Pablito by June Goudey ©

Upcoming Dutch Continental gathering, 22-29 May 2016

The Dutch Iona Group will meet 22-29th May in Dopersduin in Schoorl. The theme of the gathering is ‘Hospitality: the stranger in our midst’. News to follow in Coracle or e-Coracle.

Cont gathering

2015 Continentals gathering in Ratzeburg, by Rolf Bielefeld ©

Finding My Way: Memories of a Czech Dissident, 1939-2008, Handsel Press – important new book from Iona Community associate Tomas Bisek

This book tells the story of Tomas’ life in what was then Czechoslovakia: his early childhood during the Second World War, his youth and army service under the Soviet Communist regime, his life as a minister in Church of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren, his signing, along with his wife, Daniela, of Charter 77 and their subsequent persecution by the regime, leading to their exile in 1985. Tomas relates how they then came to Scotland with their young family and, struggling with the pain of exile, he worked as a minister in Cumbernauld and in Glasgow until they were able to return in 1996, after the collapse of the Communist regime, to a Prague that was much changed.

Tomas and Daniela will be in Edinburgh to attend a launch event for the book during the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly: Wednesday, 25th May at 1pm in the Augustine Centre on George IV Bridge.

To order Finding My Way: [email protected]

Bisek-Finding my Way (full cover)



Christian Aid Week, 15-21 May, 2016

Jesus calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves, and not just the ones next door or at the end of the street.

Christian Aid Week unites over 20,000 churches to put this love into action. Together we’ll hold church collections, host Big Brekkie fundraising breakfasts and collect house-to-house. Join us.


Petition: ‘Scrapping our nuclear weapons could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for forty years’, from CND

‘Scrapping our nuclear weapons could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for forty years’


Peace Prayers at AWE Burghfield, 27th June, 2016, from Trident Ploughshares and London Catholic Worker

On Monday 27th June faith groups from across the UK will gather at Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment (near Reading in Berkshire) to witness, pray and take non-violent direct action against the construction of nuclear weapons. Our action will be part of a month of action at Burghfield called by Trident Ploughshares and you would be very welcome to join us:

A month of daily direct action against Trident renewal

London Catholic Worker


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).

Get involved



Photo from the EAAPI website ©

Hadeel: fair trade Palestinian crafts


Hadeel is a Fair Trade shop which aims to provide a sustainable source of income for craftspeople working with social enterprises in the West Bank, Gaza, as well as one in the Galilee and another in the Negev. Our work also helps to sustain infrastructures, as many of the producer groups also provide health, education and emergency services in their communities which lack any form of local government which might do this. Hadeel is owned by the Scottish charity Palcrafts, and was founded by Iona Community members Carol and Colin Morton.

Website orders:


Reimagining Europe: Christian Reflections on the EU Referendum

Reimagining Europe is a multidisciplinary blog hosted by the Church of England and the Church of Scotland with the editorial support of Crucible, the Christian Journal of Social Ethics.

Reimagining Europe’s central aim is to create a space for Christian reflection and debate on Britain’s future relationship with Europe ahead of the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the EU.


Photo from the Reimagining Europe website ©


Conflictus’ is a new gospel-reading project between the Iona Community, the Corrymeela Community, the Church of Scotland Resourcing Worship Team, Place for Hope, the Church of England, through Coventry Reconciliation Project, and the Irish School of Ecumenics. In 2017 the project will provide a website with reflections on Sunday gospel readings which will look at the gospels through the lens of conflict, and at conflict through the lens of the gospels. Stay tuned.




Photo from the Corrymeela Community website ©

The Homeless World Cup 2016: ‘the most inspiring place on the planet’, 10-16 July 2016, Glasgow

Several Iona Community members have been involved in supporting the Homeless World Cup over the years. Iain Whyte wrote about the experience in Coracle. In 2016 the Homeless World Cup comes to Glasgow!

From the Homeless World Cup website:

The 2016 Homeless World Cup will take place in the heart of Glasgow, from July 10-16. For the duration of the seven-day event, Glasgow’s George Square will be ‘the most inspiring place on the planet’.

In total, 64 teams, representing 52 countries, will come together to celebrate and highlight the year-round life-changing work of the Homeless World Cup National Partner network. Five hundred twelve players will arrive in Glasgow each with their own story to tell, their own point on a journey to create a better life for themselves.

George Square will be converted into an outdoor street football venue for the event, with three purpose-built pitches with seating. Up to 100,000 of spectators are expected to attend the tournament. Entry is free every day, and tickets are not required.

Homeless World Cup


Photo from the Homeless World Cup website ©


Planting potatoes, by member Helen Steven

April 4th 1984, the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King. Faslane Peace camp, already over a year old, had planned an action to reclaim the land fenced in at Faslane, now used as a base for the UK’s nuclear death machines. The idea was for as many groups as possible to converge secretly around the perimeter and, at the appointed time, to cut the fence and reclaim the land for peace.

Our group, the Gareloch Hortis, was very new. We had all done a non-violence training together in Glasgow and were keen and ready for action – even if our mouths were dry and our knees knocking with nervousness. For us it was a big, big thing to cross the boundary from law-abiding citizenship to responsible civil disobedience.

We had brought with us a big sack of potatoes which we wanted to plant inside the base as a symbol of growing food for the world rather than nuclear destruction. We wanted to reclaim the land from death to life.

At the appointed time, a quick, desperate snipping of bolt-cutters allowed seven of us to squeeze through the gap made in a chain-link fence. Hurry, hurry to get the task done. Out with the shovels and spades and forks, and then plant random rows of potatoes in the turned-up soil. Still no police!

And so we had time; time to look around, stop, reflect and rejoice in what we’d done. Joy, defiance, pride all grew in us as we stood by our reclaimed land waiting for our first-ever arrest.

Our voices rose in song:

‘You say this land is out of bounds,
our lives and our futures are out of our hands.
This earth is not yours to put boundaries around.
We’ll grow, we’ll get stronger, our voices resound …’

– Helen Steven, from Now More Than Ever, Here More Than Anywhere: 50 Years of Scottish Songs for Nuclear Disarmament, Penny Stone (Ed.), 2008

Helen Steven passed away on 12th April, 2016.

There will be a tribute to Helen in a future Coracle.

Tribute to Helen Steven, by Ron Ferguson, from the Herald

Helen Steven

Photo of Helen Steven ©


Thank you for the blessing of your call, by member Zam Walker

Thank you for calling us
to realise our potential.
Not be stuck in a false humility
that pretends we are not wonderful;
not minimising the beauty and diversity of the gifts
with which you bless us;
not pretending that we are worthless,
which is such an insult to you.
Help us to recognise just how wonderful we are –
and let us use our gifts to help others recognise theirs,
so that together
we can reflect your glory in serving and celebrating
and redeeming the world.

– Zam Walker, from In the Gift of This New Day: Praying with the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications

Zam Walker passed away on 12th April, 2016.

There will be a tribute to Zam in a future Coracle.

Tribute to Zam Walker, by Susan Lochrie, from the Greenock Telegraph


Photo by David Coleman ©

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