THE IONA COMMUNITY
‘NEW WAYS TO TOUCH THE HEART’
For over 70 years, the Iona Community has welcomed visitors from across the world to Iona:
- to take part in the rebuilding of the medieval Abbey living quarters
- to share in a common life of work and worship
- to experience the beauty, history and living community of Iona
- to find inspiration and faith in action for justice and peace
The accommodation has provided a sanctuary for thousands of residential guests over many decades, but the Iona Community has been professionally advised that substantial work to the infrastructure of the Abbey is urgently required. This is a major undertaking given that the Abbey is a listed building of considerable historic interest on a Hebridean island. This work is to begin soon in close partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and in continuing consultation with island partners, businesses and friends.
The building programme, which is the subject of The Iona Abbey Appeal, will have the following outcomes in sustainability, accessibility and flexibility:
- The Abbey as a building for living safeguarded for the future
- Greatly increased access regardless of mobility
- Reduced negative environmental impact, through use of sustainable materials, renewable energy and reduction of waste
- Improved facilities and refreshed programme of activities
- Increased capacity in guest numbers thanks to a 25% increase in guest season
- Contributing to the local economy, safeguarding local jobs and offering further employment opportunities
This major and complex renovation project involves vacating the Abbey residential accommodation. Because of this, the Iona Community has decided that, for the first time for many decades, it will not be able to offer a residential programme during 2018. We see this sabbatical time as a positive opportunity to explore new kinds of encounter, hospitality and community, and to create new imaginative possibilities for shared experience. The Iona Community will therefore offer a non-residential programme, to include:
- Daily worship in the Abbey Church
- The full operation of the Iona Community Shop and Welcome Centre
- A regular programme of talks, presentations, workshops and pilgrimage walks for those staying elsewhere on the island, and for day visitors. Led and facilitated by Members and staff of the Iona Community, these will focus on the life and work of the Iona Community, creative arts, prayer, poetry and peace-making, pilgrimage and activism
- Opportunities to visit Camas, the Iona Community’s outdoor centre two miles away on the Ross of Mull, and to learn about its ecological basis and its native species woodland
In addition, the Iona Community, in partnership with the St Columba Hotel, will offer an Easter residential programme, and three autumn residential programmes.
The Iona Community remains fully committed to its presence on Iona, and to the island itself.