Iona, Camas and the mainland

Vacancies with the Iona Community – On Iona: Deputy Director; Island Staffing Coordinator; Resident Maintenance Support/Gardener; at Camas: Resident Staff Team Member/Gardener

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

Applications for Deputy Director, by Sunday 6th November, 2016; for Island Staffing Coordinator, by 13th November, 2016; for Resident Maintenance Support/Gardener, by 27th November, 2016; for Camas Resident Staff Team Member/Gardener (Materinity cover), by 27th November, 2016 …

For more information and an application


Iona rainbow © David Coleman

New Members Week at Camas

A couple pics of some of the fun and mucking in at the recent New Members Week at Camas

new-members-2 new-members-1

Photos © Rachel McCann

The Camas Diary

Some great new postings on the Camas blog, including a poetic contemplation on the Camas track, ‘Fancy Dress Fun Time’ with an awesome youth group from the Gorbals, a recipe for Camas scones – and much more! …

Catch up on what’s been happening at Camas (the Iona Community’s Adventure Centre on the isle of Mull):

Camas Diary


Camas boots © Rachel McCann

Iona Programme Worker Ursula Glienecke in art exhibition at An Tobar on Mull

The new Iona Programme Worker, Ursula Glienecke, is part of an open exhibition of artists from Mull, Iona and Argyll interpreting the theme of ICE.  The exhibition runs from 8th October to 17th December at An Tobar. That’s one of Ursula’s works on the exhibition poster below.

To see more of Ursula’s beautiful artwork, explore her website:

Searching … meaning: theology seeking art


Iona Youth Department news – Iona Youth Fest 2016 and the launch a new Glasgow-based youth group!

Another great pic (below) of Iona Youth Festival 2016 – which you can read all about in an interview with Youth Resource Worker, Chris Long, in the autumn Coracle. On plans for the rest of 2016 and in to 2017, Chris says:

‘On Thursday 27th October we will have the launch of the new Glasgow-based youth group – IGLOW. This will build on the work that went on in the schools and youth clubs we work at and also on the relationships fostered at Youth Festival. The plan is to meet monthly during 2016 as a pilot and continue in 2017.’

More to follow …


‘Top of the world’/Iona Youth Fest 2016 © Iona Community Youth Department. Used with permission

Hind Khoury, General Secretary of Kairos Palestine, visiting Glasgow (the Iona Community’s new Glasgow base) and Edinburgh: 31st October in Glasgow, 1st November in Edinburgh


You are invited to meet Hind and to hear news of the current situation in Israel/Palestine and of the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice.

Hind has served with the United Nations in economic and human development, as Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian National Authority, and as the Palestinian ambassador to France from 2006-2010. Khoury has also served as board member of Sabeel-Jerusalem and is currently on the board of Bethlehem Bible College.

In a recent interview Hind spoke of her commitment to ‘the very deep, complex and demanding call to all humanity to work prophetically and courageously for justice, peace and reconciliation … a daunting task in the face of so much extremism, religious fanaticism, violence, political abuse of religion, corrupt leadership and consumerism, all of which reduce people in their humanity.’

The Kairos Palestine document of 2009 must be our touchstone, she reminds us, because, although ‘it uses Christian language and theology, its message is universal and seeks to involve good people in building a better and a more just world, starting with Palestine, the cradle of our great monotheistic religions’.

And Hind is equally bold in her vision of the Kairos mission: ‘Our achievement can be multilevelled: saving the peace in Palestine and Israel as well as those great monotheistic religions from debasement, and redeeming a deformed value system so that we can become more fully human.’

The Iona Community played a key role encouraging discussion of the Kairos Palestine document and the formation of Kairos Britain. Hind Khoury sees great hope in Kairos Palestine’s global partners. She points to their commitment to boycott, divestment and sanctions, following the successful example of the South African churches in their liberation struggle. She also commends from response by global partners to the call from Palestinian civil society for economic solidarity. And Hind repeats the invitation for partners around the world to ‘come and see injustice and its consequences, but also to understand the Bible through Palestinian eyes, Palestinian theology on the ground’, and how the ‘living stones’ are working for human rights and compliance with international law.

Working for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
with Hind Khoury, Kairos Palestine,
Monday 31st October 2016,

The Iona Community,
21 Carlton Court,
Glasgow G5 9JP

Working for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
with Hind Khoury, Kairos Palestine,
Tuesday 1st November 2016,

Elisabeth Templeton Room, New College,
University of Edinburgh

Taking Action for Palestine
with Hind Khoury, Kairos Palestine,
Tuesday 1 November,
Café Camino,

by St Mary’s Cathedral,
1 Little King Street,
Edinburgh EH1 3JR

Events sponsored by the Iona Community, Hadeel and the Scottish Palestinian Forum

Photo of Hind Khoury taken from the Kairos USA website ©

Topical new downloads from Wild Goose Publications

Jesus Was a Refugee: Resources for Worship, by Tom Gordon

Reflections, prayers, stories, poems and a hymn addressing the plight of modern-day refugees, who yearn for community and security, who long to be settled and live in peace …


Jesus Was a Refugee: Resources for Worship

Racial Justice: A Reflection and a Prayer, by Iain and Isabel Whyte

A reflection and a prayer relating to racism and the need to work for racial justice …



Racial Justice: A Reflection and a Prayer

Wild Goose Publications

2016/17 weeWONDERBOX programme, from WGRG and the Iona Community’s Programme team

Lots of great stuff going on at the Iona Community’s new Glasgow base – including the Wednesday evening ‘Iona Community liturgy’. Check out the weeWONDERBOX programme for 2016/17. (Ed.)

weeWONDERBOX is a series of face-to-face events running from September 2016 until the end of June 2017. Most events will take place in the Iona Community’s new base at 21 Carlton Court, Glasgow, but in time, we envisage events further afield may also be organised as part of the programme.

weeWONDERBOX 2016/17 programme


Iona calling: the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal

The Iona Community is a unique organisation which empowers ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. It is a living network, an international ecumenical Christian movement based in Scotland. The Iona Community motivates and inspires people of all ages, from different countries, different backgrounds and different cultures to learn more about their lives meaning and purpose in the company of others.

Generations of people have been touched by the varied and vital work of the Iona Community – work we want to ensure continues to be a reality and not history. This is especially true of our presence in the Abbey on Iona.

As a proactive and forward-thinking organisation, we have been evaluating and reassessing what we offer to our guests and staff. Wide consultation and guest feedback have identified key issues about the building’s accessibility, flexibility and sustainability. These must be addressed in the next five years if the Abbey is to remain fit for purpose …

For information about the Iona Community’s Capital Appeal and to donate


Photo © Martin Johnstone. Used with permission

Members, associates and friends

Gathering for the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty (17th October), from member John Harvey

About 50 brave souls gathered in the rain at noon in George Square on 17th October for the annual United Nations Day for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty. We stood around the stone which is set in the pavement there – one of many all over the world placed by the international movement ATD Fourth World to recognise the dignity and determination of the real poverty experts: the people who actually live in poverty. We heard powerful stories of survival and of struggle – we sang songs – and we placed lit candles on the stone. We represented movements such as the Poverty Truth Commission, Faith in Community Scotland, Bridging the Gap, the Lodging House Mission, Givin’ It Laldie, and the Iona Community. The sun eventually came out – just as we were packing up! We reaffirmed our motto: ‘Nothing about us, without us, is for us.’

– John Harvey


Photo by John Harvey ©

An Open letter to PM Theresa May, from Niall Cooper, Director of Church Action on Poverty and Iona Community associate

In the July edition of Sparkle, CAP’s newsletter, Director of CAP and Iona Community associate Niall Cooper has written a powerful letter to Theresa May, beginning: ‘The litmus for your One Nation Premiership will be your ability to reach out and tackle foodbank Britain …’ Available here, if you haven’t read it yet:

An open letter to Theresa May: join us in tackling Food Bank Britain

Church Action on Poverty

Church Action on Poverty

Taxpayers Against Poverty, from associate Paul Nicolson

Recent news and letters from Paul Nicolson, longtime campaigner against poverty and injustice, founder of Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and Taxpayers Against Poverty:

Taxpayers Against Poverty


Photo of Paul Nicolson ©

Kirkridge Retreat and Study Centre: news from some of our friends in the USA

The 2017 Programme at Kirkridge looks brilliant, including ‘Celebrating Daniel Berrigan: The Life, Lessons and Writings of a Peacemaker’, with John Dear, and ‘The Anatomy of Change’, with John L. Bell.

Find out what’s new at Kirkridge:

Kirkridge Retreat Centre


Kirkridge staff, photo from the Kirkridge website ©

Love for the Future: being at home on earth – new online course from member David Osborne and Living Spirituality Connections


‘Love for the Future’ explores the spiritual resources that are available to us as we face up to the environmental crisis. And it suggests how these can help us open ourselves to the energy of the Creator and work for the healing of the world.

We need a sense of wonder, a rooted humility and simplicity. We need compassion, a willingness to change and also to act for the good of those who suffer. We need faith, hope and wisdom, and holding it all together we need love.

The spiritual practices which the course explores are drawn mostly from the Christian tradition. They do not require special equipment, apps, or visits to special places. They can all be practised during a normal week of life. They require only a willingness to give time to allowing ourselves to be changed.

But we cannot go it alone. There are other people out there who are also concerned about what is happening to the earth.

This course is based on David’s book Love for the Future (Wild Goose Publications).

Love for the Future course

Member Alison Phipps becomes UNESCO Chairholder in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts

Alison Swinfen (works as Alison Phipps)

The University of Glasgow has been invited by UNESCO’s Director General to join its prestigious universities network (the UNESCO Chairs) and establish the first UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts. University of Glasgow professor Alison Phipps will lead this activity as the UNESCO Chairholder. Alison, who is Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies in the School of Education and Co-convener of GRAMNet – the Glasgow Refugee and Asylum Migration Network, says:

‘The endowment of this Chair by UNESCO will allow us to extend our work significantly with a focus on the protection of living culture. It will allow us to develop multilingual and creative hubs of activity with a number of partners, including Glasgow Open Museums, Scottish Refugee Council, the Red Cross and the Iona Community to enable refugee integration through languages and the arts. In Ghana we shall be working with the University of Ghana and the Noyam African Dance Institute and in Gaza with the Islamic University of Gaza …’


Photo of Alison Phipps from the Iona Community website ©

The Life of the World – call for prayers from Iona Community members, associates and friends, for a new book from Wild Goose Publications, from Neil Paynter

Dear Iona Community folk around the world,

As part of the Iona Community’s daily discipline we pray for different countries around the world, but don’t really have a resource for thinking about those countries and the folk in them – but we have associates, friends and members living in Malawi, Nevis, America, Cuba, Taipei, Australia, England, Wales – well, all around the world! As former Leader of the Community Kathy Galloway once wrote: ‘The Iona Community is both a worldwide movement – with members and groups everywhere from Malawi to Michigan, from Cumbria to Cuba and from Perth, Scotland to Perth, Australia – and a movement rooted in local realities’  …

Send me original prayers rooted in the life of your community. Any style or type, but send a prayer that you think would be helpful in our daily discipline. Thank you very much.

Prayers to [email protected], by December 31, 2016


Photo by David Coleman ©

A tribute to Una Henry, from Jack Laidlaw

Una was the widow of Bill Henry. Together they were missionaries in Nyasaland around the time of the proposed Central African Federation. (Bill joined the Iona Community in 1957.) With many others in the Community they campaigned for the independence of the three African countries Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Returning to the UK they were for a time in Hertfordshire before they both worked in Dundee: Bill in the Youth and Community Department of Dundee College of Education and Una in Student Services at Bell Street College of Technology (Abertay University).

Una and Bill were regular and stalwart members of the local Family Group. Una continued to be so after Bill’s death, until increasing disability meant she had to pass her final years in a care home in Newport-on-Tay.

– Jack Laidlaw

Prayer (Words to live by)

We name them one by one
in love and gratitude,
each recalled by us;
gently held by you.

We, too, are in your hands.
Your imagined ancient words
speak again:
‘I have called you by name:
you are mine.’

Words for us to live by.
Words for those for whom we pray.
The gulf is not so wide;
you gently hold us all.

– Brian Woodcock, from In the Gift of This New Day, Wild Goose Publications


MacLean’s Cross photo by David Coleman ©

 Some upcoming Iona Community gatherings

‘Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers’, Christ Church Morningside, Edinburgh, Saturday, 19th November, 10am-2pm, with Lyn Ma

Take part in a stimulating morning of discussion, storytelling, sharing and worship, with time for reflection on our possible responses to this increasingly worrying global crisis.

Christ Church Morningside, 6a Morningside Road, Edinburgh EH10 4DD

Tea, coffee, soup and bread lunch included (vegetarian and vegan-friendly)

NB: For catering and number purposes, please respond if you are coming: to Helen Wass-O’Donnell (see Members Book)

For an interview with Lyn Ma (photo below), see the autumn Coracle.


Lyn Ma photo ©

‘Care and share’: Iona Continentals Meeting 2017, Salzburg, Austria, 7th-10th September 2017, from associate Evelyn Martin

Dear Iona friends on the Continent and beyond,

We are excited to invite you to our next Continentals Meeting, which will take place in Salzburg, Austria, 7th September to 10th September 2017. We will meet at the guesthouse of the Pallottiner Order of monks, right in the City of Salzburg. The theme of the gathering is ‘Care and share’.

For more information, contact Evelyn Martin (see Members Book).

geese and sun

Wild Geese in flight © David Coleman

Kirchentag 2017: Berlin, 24th-28th May 2017, from Rolf Bielefeld/the German Iona Group

Our preparation for the biennial gathering of the Protestant Churches in Germany, the Kirchentag, has started! If you are thinking of coming please register via the Kirchentag website, and let us know if you can help at the Kirchentag Iona Community Centre: e-mail Rolf Bielefeld (see Members Book).

Kirchentag (German website)

Kirchentag (English website) 


Photo from the Kirchentag website ©

More upcoming Iona gatherings

Iona Community Northumbria Gathering
Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
Time: 10.00 am
Venue: The United Reformed Church, Waddington Street, Durham, DH1 4BG

Iona Community London Gathering
Date: Saturday 19th November 2016
Time: 12.00 pm
Venue: St Luke’s, Hillmarton Road, West Holloway, London, N7 9JE

Iona Community Highland Gathering
Date: Saturday 26th November 2016
Time: 11.00 pm
Venue: Hilton Parish Church, 4 Tomatin Road, Inverness IV2 4UA


Gathering of wild geese © David Coleman

News and campaigns

Syria Crisis Appeal, from Christian Aid

From Christian Aid:

Five years of conflict has had devastating effects on the people of Syria. The situation is shocking. Syrians need your help more than ever.

Half the country is displaced and more than 4.6 million people are now refugees. More than 400,000 people have been killed.

We’re working with Syrians in Lebanon and Iraq, providing support to some of the most vulnerable refugees, including women who have experienced gender-based violence, and those with disabilities.

Syria Crisis Appeal


Photo from the Christian Aid website ©

Stop Arming Saudi Arabia, from Campaign Against the Arms Trade

From CAAT:

Parliamentary pressure to Stop Arming Saudi Arabia is growing. But with UK weaponry continuing to cause devastation in Yemen, MPs must act urgently to Stop Arming Saudi. Please email yours now.



Photo from the CAAT website ©

End Hunger UK coalition, from Church Action on Poverty


Together, we can end hunger in the UK.

Church Action on Poverty is working alongside many other organisations as part of the End Hunger UK coalition. Until the end of 2018, we will campaign for a UK where everybody has access to good food and nobody has to go to bed hungry.

The campaign starts with a Big Conversation, going on across the UK until March 2017. Individuals, churches, food banks and other projects are all invited to join in the conversation and ask the question: What does our government need to do to end hunger in the UK?

End Hunger UK


The sinking of the whale, by Maxwell MacLeod, from Bella Caledonia

From Bella Caledonia:

A reflection on the nature of faith, the effect of the lingering horror of war and the dynamics of a father-son relationship.

‘Maxie, Maxie, Maxie, wake up. Wake up! Wake up! I’ve got stories to tell you.’

It’s 4.30 on a summer’s morning in a bedroom of the Manse on the Hebridean island of Iona. The year is 1960. There is an old man and a young child in the room …’

The sinking of the whale


Photo © Raymond Bailey, taken from the Bella Caledonia website


A prayer for Remembrance Day, by Rosemary Power

God grant us this day an end to all war and rumours of war,
the courage to allow our Creator, Friend and Renewer to melt our hearts into love,
our swords into ploughshares
and our anger into justice.
May the peace we wish for our neighbour,
the goodness we desire for ourselves
and the presence of the one God in community be with us all.

– Rosemary Power, from the download Martinmas/Saint Martin’s Day: An alternative liturgy for Remembrance Day, 11th November, Rosemary Power, Wild Goose Publications, 2016


Saint Martin’s Cross, by David Coleman ©

The Word

A little Bob to go out on – since he recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Hard to pick just one from Bob – ‘Masters of War’, ‘It’s Alright, Ma’, ‘Hurricane’, ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’, something from Blood on the Tracks or The Basement Tapes or Nashville Skyline or Infidels …?

How about a classic sung at many an Iona ceilidh? So get your blue book out and sing along – a ‘Strip the willow’ to follow.

Thanks for the inspiration, Bob. (Ed.)

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