Iona, Camas, Glasgow

Just announced – Camas Open Weeks in 2019 …

Spring Work Week (25th–30th March):

Come and get Camas up and running for the season ahead. Light the stoves, spruce up the rooms, check roofs are still on sheds, and launch the boat, as well as many other tasks. Live and work together as part of a community for the week in this remote and beautiful part of the world. There’ll be time to explore the local area and look up at the stars at night!

Easter Holiday Family Week (8th–13th April):

Spend a week living in community with other families in the remote Camas Bay. We will be offering a range of outdoor activities as well as trips to the beach and to Iona. There’ll be time for cooking, being in the garden or reading your book by the sea. (Adults pay according to the rates below, children under 16 at £125.)

May Garden Week (6th–11th May):

A week at Camas getting your hands in the soil! Spend time in the Camas garden helping us set up for the season to come. A mixture of work, rest and play, with garden tasks, walks to beaches, option of a day trip, and lots of tea and cake to keep you going!

More weeks to follow – watch this space!

Pricing information for Open Weeks at Camas in 2019:

It’s really important to us that Camas is open to everyone regardless of financial circumstances. We therefore offer different rates depending on what guests can afford to pay.

£250 supporter rate – for those who are able to give a bit more

£175 standard rate – for those on average incomes

£125 concessionary rate – for students and those on low incomes. If you are unable to afford this then please contact us because we want to make sure no one is excluded from staying at Camas because of their financial situation.

For enquiries and booking information: [email protected]


Camas folk © David Coleman

The Camas Diary: ‘The Camas Woodland Regeneration Project one year on’, ‘Castlemilk, carpenters and chickens’  …

Find out what’s new at Camas by reading the always inspiring Camas blog:

The Camas Diary


Camas photo ©

Vacancies on Iona and at Camas for 2019

The Iona Community is currently recruiting Resident Staff for 2019 and have the following vacancies:

On Iona

– Administration Assistant

– Musician

– Operations Manager

– Shop Manager

The deadline for applications for Iona posts is 14th November, 2018.

At Camas

– Camas Activities Worker – 3 years

– Camas Activities Worker – 9 months

– Camas Environment Worker – 3 years

The deadline for applications for Camas posts is 28th November, 2018.

For full details and application forms

Camas photo ©

Iona Community Shop winter hours, 2018-2019

‘Robin in the Abbey’, by members Ruth Burgess and David Coleman

A lovely photo, snapped by David Coleman on Iona recently, and nice wee poem by Ruth Burgess to accompany it. Enjoy. Thanks, Ruth and David (Ed.)

There’s a white cloth on the table today.
Good, makes it less slippy to land on,
and as any church robin
worth his calling knows
a white cloth means breadcrumbs,
and in this abbey
even oatcakes.

It’s a good place to perch, this;
the tourists like it.
My photo must be on thousands of smartphones.
And those red and gold curtains as a background
show off my feathers a treat.

I’ve been thinking about those words round the table
Lord’s death till,
that MacLeod chap who my grandad said was good with words
was into anagrams.
Funeral could be real fun was apparently his favourite.


Tallish toddler?
Shallot tiddler?
Old lard thistle?
Hot riddle stall?
Maybe the words have got something to do with the breadcrumbs.
Who knows.

Better move in a minute,
there’s people coming in
and the musician has just climbed up to the piano loft.

With the music and the singing
and sometimes tom-toms and cymbals,
it all gets a bit too noisy for me.

I’ll just go and have a tail-wag
with the sparrows in the cloisters,
and I’ll come back later
to see what they’ve left me for lunch.

– Ruth Burgess

Robin in the Abbey © David Coleman

Advent & Christmas books and downloads from Wild Goose Publications

Looking for inspiration – or a Christmas gift?

There are almost 20 books for Advent and Christmas available on the WGP website – by John L Bell, Ruth Burgess, Sally Foster-Fulton, Peter Millar, Jan Sutch Pickard, Thom M Shuman – and others … And dozens of downloads on different themes and concerns – by Pat Bennett, Tom Gordon, Janet Lees, Rosemary Power – and many other good folk …

Advent & Christmas books from Wild Goose

Advent & Christmas downloads from Wild Goose

Wild Goose Publications gift vouchers

Free Wild Goose Publications Advent & Christmas postcards

Open Our Hearts: Daily prayers for Lent and Holy Week – new book from Wild Goose Publications, by Friend of the Community Ann Gerondelis

Open Our Hearts is a series of Bible readings, prayers and colour images for each day of Lent and Holy Week, to invite reflection, contemplation and action in the world.

Ann’s images are icon-like in their depth and focus; her prayers are poetic and prophetic.

Follow this special and very original book through Lent and Holy Week to open up space to meet God anew; and to open our hearts to God’s all-inclusive love and the call to feed the hungry, work for peace and build communities of love.

Ann Gerondelis is an author, architect and academic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the founder of Sketch Prayers Studio, exploring questions regarding the role of sacred communities and the power of images and image-making in shaping perceptions of God’s holy imagination. Ann is a Friend of the Iona Community. This publication follows her first book, Open Our Eyes: Daily Prayers for Advent.

Open Our Hearts: Daily Prayers for Lent and Holy Week

‘Greening the darkness: Ending Lent with the Book of Kells and care for the earth’, Wednesday 10th April–Saturday 13th April, 2019, led by Iona Community members Rosemary Power and David Coleman, St Columba Hotel, Iona

A three-day event exploring the ancient traditions of Iona through the icon-imagery of its great manuscript, the Book of Kells, with pilgrimage around the major sites of the island, and reflection on how we can best rejoice in and care for our world.

Rosemary Power is a writer and medieval historian who works in church ministry. Her books include The Celtic Quest (Columba Press), The Story of Iona (Canterbury Press) and (forthcoming) Image and Spirituality in the Book of Kells.

David Coleman is Environmental Chaplain for the Scottish Churches. He has a post-graduate diploma in creative media and has produced numerous animated films, plays and projected installations that present Christianity in new ways.

Prices for the three days, including bed, breakfast, two-course evening meal and course fee, start at £320 each for two people sharing.

To book: [email protected]

St Columba Hotel, Iona

‘Iona rainbow’ by Francis McEvoy, ©

Upcoming weeWONDERBOX gatherings and events, from the Iona Community’s Programme team and the Wild Goose Resource Group (WGRG)

weeWONDERBOX is a series of face-to-face events, most of which take place at the Ground, the event space of the Iona Community base at 21 Carlton Court, Glasgow. It’s a collaboration between the Iona Community’s Programme team and WGRG.

November 2018

Wed 14th, 6.00-7.00pm: Wee Weekly Worship – Prayers for Justice & Peace

Wed 14th, 7.00-9.00pm: Brexit And The Book Of Ruth: (6) Counter Narratives

Wed 21st, 6.00-7.00pm: Wee Weekly Worship – Prayers for Healing & Wholeness

Wed 21st, 7.00-9.00pm: Brexit And The Book Of Ruth: (7) Addressing Stereotypes

Wed 28th, 6.00-7.00pm: Wee Weekly Worship – Act of Commitment

Wed 28th, 7.00-9.00pm: Brexit And The Book Of Ruth: (8) Compassion & The Law

Fri 30th, 7.00- Sat 1st Dec, 4.00pm: Leonard Cohen and Dark Days Of Advent (Urban Retreat with Pádraig Ó Tuama)

December 2018

Wed 5th, 6.00-7.00pm: Wee Weekly Worship – Quiet Time

Wed 5th, 7.00-9.00pm: Brexit And The Book Of Ruth: (9) Enlarging The Circle Of Kinship

Mon 10th, 6.00-7.30pm: Becoming Human Together: (3) The Practice Of Reciprocal Hospitality

Wed 12th, 6.00-7.00pm: Wee Weekly Worship – Prayers for Justice & Peace

Wed 19th, 6.00-7.00pm: Wee Weekly Worship – Advent Celebration

weeWONDERBOX 2018-2019

weeWONDERBOX photo ©

The Iona Prayer Circle

The Iona Prayer Circle was established by the Iona Community for people and situations that require prayer over a period of time. This network of prayer takes place across the world.

Contact: Iona Prayer Circle Coordinator, [email protected]

Iona Prayer Circle liturgies


Watch now, dear Lord,
with those who wake or watch or weep tonight;
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Christ,
rest your weary ones,
bless your dying ones,
soothe your suffering ones,
shield your joyous ones,
and all for your love’s sake.

Prayer of St Augustine, from Iona Abbey Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, 2017

Prayer Circle Photo ©

Members, associates and friends

‘Big-name artists drawn to small island cause’: Iona Craft Shop postcard art auction in aid of Iona Village Hall, November 21st, 2018

Will it be the Jon Snow or the David Shrigley?

Curated by Iona Craft Shop to raise funds for a much needed replacement for the island’s well-used Village Hall, the response from artists has been remarkable – with almost 400 artworks available online to choose from.

It’s a joyous offering in both breadth and depth, with entrants ranging from Turner Prize nominees and heavyweights of the Scottish arts scene to fledgling talents like the pupils of Iona Primary School Art Club. A mix that beautifully reflects the character and lure of the tiny isle whose population, at odds with general trends, continues to thrive.

In terms of art production, there is no denying Iona has form. From the illuminated manuscripts of The Book of Kells to the works of the Scottish Colourists, the island’s artistic heritage spans millennia. That it continues to inspire is evident in the inordinate number of art school degrees held among its population.

Iona Craft Shop owner Michael Gordon and shop manager Isla Macleod, both with art backgrounds, saw the postcard auction as an opportunity to harness this powerful creative legacy for the benefit of the island.

The auction will be live until midnight of November 21st.

Contact: Katie Gordon, [email protected]

Auction information

Iona Village Hall Appeal

Postcard by Roddy Wooble

‘Verrukkelijk!’*: A report on Community Week in the Netherlands, 13-19 October 2018, by member Trevor Jones

Community Week at Schoorl in the Netherlands was a delightful and unique experience. The acorns crunched underfoot as we made our way around the Mennonite Centre which became ‘home’, with our host and pilgrimage leader going everywhere barefoot. We walked through pinewoods, along sand dunes and up 150 wooden steps, eventually finding our way to the beach, where some paddled, and all participated in a moving act of worship at the water’s edge. 

The stories have been extremely positive: one person stating that ‘this has been the happiest Community Week I have ever attended’.

Worship focused on the Book of Ruth and was enriched by a series of seven spectacular canvases, ‘Works of mercy’, by Dutch modern artist Ruud Bartlema. Members had been invited to prepare worship which moved away from the traditional format, that created opportunities which energised us; and musicians contributed to the collective experience.

Every aspect of the week was inclusive, and member Chris Mercer stated that never before had she been able to share in a Community Week so extensively. From the moment an electric mobility scooter became available, she never looked back! Member Reinhild Traitler identified that the week spent in the Netherlands had enabled the Iona Community to identify itself as an international ecumenical community.

There was a ‘magical mystery tour’ to Haarlem. Some visited Corrie ten Boom’s house, others took in the sites around town, before we all met up at Stam in de Stad, where we learned about the city’s efforts to respond to extreme poverty and homelessness.

Iona Community Co-leaders Kathy Galloway and Christian MacLean were able to share the urgent need for the Iona Community to address issues surrounding governance, organisation, finance, leadership and decentralisation.

Dutch and German members, with associates and friends, joined us on Sunday; and we watched the premier of a film that has been produced to share the Iona story with parish groups and potential guests.

There was lots of fun, a concert unlike any other, a Skype conversation with Phyllis Ives in the USA, and other thought-provoking sessions, in addition to time for relaxation and to enjoy just being together.

The preparation undertaken by the Dutch Family Group cannot be underestimated. They took care of every detail and I feel sure that I would not be the only person overwhelmed with gratitude for their collective efforts and gracious hospitality. The time shared will have a special place in the collective memory of Iona Community members. Thank you, Netherlands.

We look forward to 2019, when we will be guests of the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland.

– Trevor Jones

* Verrukkelijk can translate as ‘delightful’.

Community Week photo by Irene Stok ©

Dutch army chaplains explore the spirituality of the Iona Community, from Pat Bennett/the Iona Community website

In November, army chaplains in the Netherlands gathered for a 2-day conference on Spirituality at Nieuw Hydepark, the Seminary of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. One part of the meeting was dedicated to thinking about and discussing the spirituality and work of the Iona Community – something that was new to many of those attending.  

Iona Community associate Wilco van Wakeren, who organised the retreat, commented that afterwards many of those attending ‘wanted to go straight to a retreat on Iona’!

Wilco and several of his colleagues have produced material in Dutch relating to Iona and the Iona Community. They also run a very informative website for those wishing to know more about the island, or who are planning a visit there.

Opposing War Memorial: A memorial in Edinburgh to conscientious objectors and all who oppose war, from friend of the Community Brian Larkin (Coordinator, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre) and Iona Community member Lesley Orr

From the Opposing War Memorial website:

The Opposing War Memorial Steering Committee has been offered a site for a memorial to conscientious objectors and all who oppose war, in Princes St Gardens, a World Heritage Site. Situated in the midst of eight war memorials and beneath Edinburgh Castle and the National War Memorial, the Opposing War Memorial will suggest a better way to resolve conflicts than through war.

Four outstanding artists were engaged to submit designs for the sculpture. Edinburgh artist Kate Ive’s design has been selected. The Transport and Environment Committee of Edinburgh Council unanimously approved the proposal on 4th October, 2018. Final approval is required by the Planning Committee and is expected by April 2019, with the aim for the memorial to be installed by August 2019, the centenary of the end of imprisonment of First World War COs.

For more information or to donate:

Opposing War Memorial website

Former Iona Community Leader Peter Macdonald chosen as minister of Broughton St Mary’s Church, Edinburgh

Peter Macdonald been chosen as minister of Broughton St Mary’s, Bellevue Terrace, Edinburgh. Peter served as locum there from November last year to August this year. His induction will take place on Thursday 15th November, and he will lead his first service there on Sunday 18th November, with Rev Dr Kathy Galloway as guest preacher.

Congrats, Peter. (Ed.)

Photo of Peter Macdonald, at Faslane, by David Coleman ©

‘We Shall Overcomb!: Potus in Scotland’, a reflection on Trump’s visit to Scotland – and more, by member and former Iona Community Leader Norman Shanks

A reflection soon to be published in Hospitality: the newspaper of the Open Door Community. The Open Door Community, in Baltimore, USA, is one of the Iona Community’s sister communities.


Photo of Norman Shanks ©

Slavery: Scotland’s Hidden Shame, BBC documentary featuring Iona Community member Iain Whyte

Iona Community member Iain Whyte, who is the author of Scotland and the Abolition of Black Slavery, 1756-1838 (Edinburgh University Press), was interviewed, among others, for this BBC documentary, which is currently showing.

From the BBC:

David Hayman presents the first of a two-part documentary exploring Scotland’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Filmed across three continents, it demonstrates the many and intricate ways in which Scotland and the Scots were embroiled in the trade. Scots were plantation and slave owners, merchants, ship owners and crew, surgeons, investors and bookkeepers.

The programmes also shows the legacies of Scotland’s role – how money made funded agricultural and industrial progress, shaped a huge proportion of the nation’s built environment, and the influence of the slave trade on the lives of people of colour in Scotland today.

Within the programmes, the reasons behind the hiding of this shameful period in Scottish history are contemplated, not least the threat these truths pose to our nation’s self-identity as egalitarian, and the ethos of ‘we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns’ …

At the heart of the story is redemption: how can Scotland, if not atone for its role, then recognise it? How can good come from the most heinous bad?

Slavery: Scotland’s Hidden Shame

(This programme might not be available to folk outside the UK. If so, sorry about that. Ed.)

Photo of Iain Whyte ©

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. Hadeel was originally set up by Iona Community members Carol and Colin Morton, who worked in Palestine/Israel for years.

Hadeel Christmas decorations and gifts


‘Remembrance: A reflection on 9/11’, by associate member Israel Nelson in Alaska

Most everyone will recall where they were and what they were doing when four planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Shanksville, PA on 9/11. I was working for a substance abuse treatment programme, and the whole staff was summoned to a meeting in the lobby of the building to honour the sacrifice of the more than 3000 victims of the attacks. I remember the days after when no airplanes were heard overhead. I remember thinking that we might be facing a major war, if not a nuclear holocaust. I remember the sense of fear that pervaded every gathering. It was a terrible, frightening time. Today, on the 17th anniversary of that terrible day, the fear has returned because of the way things are going in the national capital city.

Donald Trump practises a politics of fear. He bullies anyone who dares to offer facts or disagrees with his assessment of things. He utters statements intended to separate and divide people from one another. He practises a politics of divisiveness, as demonstrated by his imprisoning in cages children ripped from the arms of their parents who dare to seek political refuge from terrors in their home countries. He has fostered the re-emergence of racism aimed at African Americans and Muslims.                     

Before Donald Trump assumed the mantle of the President of the United States, our nation was making significant progress on several important fronts. After many years of struggle to overcome our national racism, formally disenfranchised citizens were registering for and voting in elections. Although not ideal, we had begun to address the problems that were emerging due to climate change. Now that progress has been eroded. We had been making progress in overcoming divisiveness globally and now that is being threatened.

Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, appears to have had his own personal struggles with divisiveness. His most dramatic experience of discovering his commonality with others came to him on March 19, 1958, on the streets of Louisville, KY: ‘Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, suddenly [I] realised that I loved all the people and that none of them were or could be totally alien to me’ (The Intimate Merton, Harper San Francisco).

This insight propelled him into a new acceptance of all people, which eventually led to his seeking insight from Buddhist practitioners in Asia, where he died suddenly and accidentally while addressing a gathering of monks. Some of them were Buddhist; some were Roman Catholic. But he shared with them how important it was to recognise their common values despite their differences in belief.

In this time when we are confronted with fear, it is most helpful to recall the wisdom of St Paul: ‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39).

We need to look for Christ in others – even in Donald Trump. His antics are those of a little boy who is frightened of the dark and afraid he will not be loved. But God’s love encompasses everyone. Instead of responding to his bully tactics, we need to love him anyway and call him to change his behaviour. Loving him will be a challenge. We need to trust in St Paul’s promise. This will constitute a proper remembrance of 9/11.

– Rev. Israel Nelson

Photo of Israel Nelson ©

Wilderness: A journey through depression, new book by member Warren Bardsley, reviewed by Stephen G Wright of the Sacred Space Foundation

Warren has the gift of getting his feelings down in writing. For many men, to express their feelings at all can be a trial, but to express them in writing, a Herculean task. There’s a ‘confessional’ quality to this lovely little book, showing how getting our story out of the confines of our depressed psyches can be part of the healing. Warren illuminates that there is no quick fix for depression and that an integration of counselling and medication, deep inner exploration, a willingness to face up to our shadow and the arid spiritual desert that is depression are all part of it. The comfort and support of good friends (and avoiding the well-meaning but unhelpful ‘Job’s comforters’) are integral to healing too – including the value of being a part of a nurturing soul community such as the Iona Community. He meets God’s love in these many ways.

Warren’s well-written and very personal account is testament to human resilience and the power of spiritual support amidst the fierce landscape of depression. It is a hopeful message that deserves to be read by those facing it, those who love and care for them and those who simply want to understand it better from the sufferer’s point of view. Being better informed can help all of us – after all, with the UK, close to a third of the population is expected to experience some form of mental health problem in their lifetime; so if it’s not me or the person sitting next to me, then it might mean you.

– Stephen G Wright, member of the Iona Community and Resident Spiritual Director at the Sacred Space Foundation

To order Wilderness: A journey through depression (Church in the Marketplace Publications), contact member Warren Bardsley: [email protected]

Cover photo of Wilderness: A journey through depression, ©

Iona Abbey Capital Appeal

Getting ready for Phase Two

Phase Two work of the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal is scheduled to begin in November, and to finish in time to enable the Community to reopen its Iona Centre for the 2020 season.

A big thank you to all who have worked hard – and are still working hard – to make this happen!

A wee prayer from Convenor of Council, Brian Crosby:

Thanks be to God for all the gifts from the past,
all the gifts of those who are making new things happen,
and all the hopes and plans for what is to come …

Exciting times!

Iona Abbey Capital Appeal

‘Getting ready’ ©

News and campaigns

‘Stop Arming Saudi Arabia’, from Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)

From CAAT:

The government refuses to stop its immoral and illegal arms sales to Saudi Arabia, ignoring and denying the overwhelming evidence that UK weapons are being used in violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

CAAT’s legal challenge to the UK government’s decision to continue to licence the export of military equipment to Saudi Arabia continues.

Read more and take action

Photo from the CAAT website ©

HSBC: Get powered up for climate justice, from Christian Aid

From Christian Aid:

HSBC claims to be a climate leader. But it hasn’t even ruled out funding new coal projects everywhere.

It is still willing to fund coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel – in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia: three countries incredibly vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate.

It’s time to get powered up for climate justice and make our voices heard …

HSBC: Get powered up for climate justice

Close the Gap, from Church Action on Poverty (CAP)

From CAP:

Church Action on Poverty has a vision of a more equal society, with a narrower gap between rich and poor. Happier. Healthier. Safer. Fairer.

Through our campaigns and our work in communities, we aim to achieve the significant changes in policies and practices that are needed to Close the Gap.

You can help to Close the Gap by giving, acting or praying with us:

Close the Gap


For all we have received from them, by Ruth Burgess

Thank you, God,
for all who contribute
to the life of the Iona Community.
Thank you for people of all ages,
for travellers from around the world,
for pilgrims and friends and strangers.
Thank you for those who ask questions,
for those who listen to us and respect our stories,
for those who challenge conventions,
for those who draw us deep into justice and truth.
Meet us in each other, God.
Help us to be loving,
today and all the days of our lives.

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

Wild geese on the wing, by David Coleman ©


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