Iona, Camas, Glasgow
2020 Iona Abbey team
The 2020 team so far:
Warden: Catriona Robertson; Operations Manager: Benedicte Scholefield; Bookings: Carol Dougall; Bookings Assistant: Karen Ridley; Sacristan: David Bond; Musicians: Josh and Diana Taylor; Abbey Cook: Anja Jardine; Deputy Cook: Clare Sibley; Shop Manager: Lyn Meier; Deputy Shop Manager: Sarah MacDonald …
Love, peace and the Spirit’s joy and energy to all these good folk.
More info to follow …
An Iona grace
For work and worship
prayer and action
being and doing
for sharing stories and for sharing beauty beyond words
for long walks alone and for pilgrimages together
for the sound of the ferry and for the echo of church bells
for quiet time and for the wild dance of the Spirit
for storms that pass and for rainbows
for daffodils in bloom and for a night full of stars …
for all of these things and
for all of the ways these things
feed into each other,
for this life-giving food and
for the varied food of life,
for all of the ways you nourish us,
loving God – we praise you.
– By a former Iona volunteer
Pilgrims © David Coleman
Iona Abbey Centre 2020 – bookings now open
From the week beginning 13th June, 2020, our Abbey Centre will once again be open to residential guests.
I saw a stranger yesterday.
I put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place
And, in the sacred name of the Triune God,
He blessed us and our house,
Our cattle and our dear ones.
As the lark says in her song:
‘Often, often, often,
goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise.’
– Celtic Rune of Hospitality
‘At the jetty’ © David Coleman
Young Adults Pilgrimage to Iona, June 2020, from member Richard Sharples and Annie Sharples of the Iona Community Young Adults Group
Eighty years ago, a group of young adults, under the leadership of one George MacLeod, made a journey from Govan to Iona. That journey led to the birth of the Iona Community. In June 2020, the Abbey will reopen after its first major refurbishment since the rebuilding programme of the 1940s and ’50s. Yet, as with that first journey, the physical rebuilding is a sign of a wider rebuilding needed in church and society, beginning with ourselves.
A group of young adults arriving on Iona, on a pilgrimage during which we will engage with the founding story and contemporary reality of the Community, will be a significant sign of a fresh start, a renewal, of the Iona Community.
Could you be part of that? …
The pilgrimage will begin in Govan on Tuesday, June 9th, St Columba’s Day. Over the course of 10 days we will walk via Faslane, Dalmally, Oban, Camas, finally arriving on Iona on Saturday, June 20th. We will spend a Sabbath Day on the island, before leaving on Monday the 22nd. Pilgrims are welcome for all or part of the journey.
Daily mileage will vary from 8 to 14 miles. Accommodation will be varied but will certainly include camping. Tents and luggage will be carried by a support vehicle, enabling pilgrims to carry only day packs.
Our route is deliberately chosen to enable us to engage with some of the key places in our story as a Community, and we will also be travelling in the footsteps of the saints, such as Columba and Conan. We will be joined by Community members at points, either en route or in the evening, and so the pilgrimage will enable us to explore what it means to live the Rule of the Community today.
The subsidised cost of the full pilgrimage to pilgrims 18-30 years old is £100. However, we can reduce this further if this is a barrier. This cost covers all transport between Glasgow and Iona, all meals and all accommodation. For pilgrims who are planning on joining for part of the way, we can reduce costs accordingly.
For more information please contact:
Richard Sharples is a former Iona Abbey Warden.
Annie Sharples is a member of the Iona Community Young Adults Group.
‘Iona friends’ © Iona Community. Used with permission
2020 Camas team
Our outdoor centre at Camas is looking forward to the new season.
We are very pleased to welcome Tom Wardle, along with Rachel, as the new Camas Coordinator, along with a great team of Angela Formby, Catriona Muckart, Allan Kane and Graeme Mackennon. They all began life and work together at Camas in mid-February.
More info to follow …
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, Camas Committee member and former Camas Coordinator and volunteer, from In the Gift of This New Day: Praying with the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications
* From the Camas Mission Statement
Camas friends © Used with permission
Camas Open Weeks 2020
23/3/20–3/4/20: Working Holiday (two weeks) – Come and get Camas up and running for the season ahead. Light the stoves, spruce up the rooms and launch the boat, as well as many other tasks. Live and work together as part of a community 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! This year we are having an extended working holiday over two weeks. Guests are welcome to come for the whole time or just a few nights. Rates are per night.
6/4/20–11/4/20: Easter Family Week – Spend a week living in community with other families in remote and beautiful Camas Bay. We will be offering a range of outdoor activities as well trips to the beach and to Iona. There’ll be time for cooking, being in the garden or reading your book by the sea.
27/4/20–2/5/20: Nurture the Land: An opportunity to spend time connecting with the land, each other and ourselves in beautiful Camas Bay. There’ll be a mix of practical tasks in the garden and woodland, as well as time to nourish ourselves with walks in nature and wild swimming. Option of a day trip to Iona or other local place of interest.
25/5/20–30/5/20: May Family Week – Another opportunity for families to spend a week living in community at Camas. This week coincides with school holidays in England and Wales.
27/7/20–1/8/20: Community & Local Kids Week (ages 13-17) – A week for both kids of Community members as well as local kids from Mull and Iona. There’ll be outdoor activities and trips to the beach. Join us for a fun, adventurous and friendly week.
Camas greenhouse, from the Iona Community website ©
Lent series: Lament for Lent, from weeWONDERBOX
God isn’t afraid of our grief, doesn’t cower when we complain and does not take our lament lightly.
Through biblical exploration, discussion and creative expression, we’ll have the opportunity, rather than saying ‘Fine, thanks’, to let the unsaid out.
This six-week series is based on the Church Mission Society’s 2020 Lent devotional material.
Led by Jo Love, John L Bell and Carol Marples at the Iona Community’s Glasgow base: 21 Carlton Court.
Wed 26th at 6.45-8.15pm
Wed 4th at 6.45-8.15pm
Wed 11th at 6.45-8.15pm
Wed 18th at 6.45-8.15pm
Wed 25th at 6.45-8.15pm
Wed 1st at 6.45-8.15pm
In love with the Life of life: Daily Readings for Lent and Holy Week, Wild Goose Publications
Daily readings, with prayers, poems and actions, for Lent and Holy Week from members, associates and friends of the Iona Community.
Also includes a section of additional resources for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Contributors include Ruth Burgess, Nancy Cocks, Brian Woodcock, Donald Eadie, Iain and Isabel Whyte, Peter Millar, Janet Lees, Jan Sutch Pickard, Warren Bardsley, Alex Clare-Young, Thom M Shuman, Kathy Galloway, Christian MacLean, Timothy Gorringe, Katharine M Preston, Richard Skinner, Carol Dixon, Niall Cooper, Anna Briggs, Alastair McIntosh, Martin Johnstone, and others.
Members, associates and friends
Tree of light: Davos prayer vigil for justice and peace, from friend of the Community Regula Rudolf in Davos
The prayer vigils for justice and peace during the Davos World Economic Forum started in 1999. We meet during the week of the WEF Forum in St John’s Church in Davos Platz, hoping to raise more awareness about local communities around the world and justice in global trade relationships.
On the Monday evening we offer an opening service. Tuesday till Thursday we sit in silent prayer from 6-9pm. Every 15 minutes, a short thought is read. Visitors come and go as is suitable for them. They can write a prayer request on leaving and hang it in the lighted tree. On Friday night, in a closing service, the requests are read out, and candles can be lit for personal requests. Songs from Taizé (well-known in Davos) accompany this evening.
In early January I wrote to approximately 30 groups and communities known to me and asked them to support us in the vigil. This year 28 groups/communities answered our request. Their names are written on posters hung around the church, with a candle lit for each of them. This as a sign of ‘being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1). The Iona Community is among the groups who have been regularly involved.
– Regula Rudolf
Tree of light, from Regula Rudolf ©
The lion’s roar: Courageous and life-giving work in Pakistan, by member Valerie Allen
Iona Community member Valerie Allen, who is a spiritual companion, retreat leader and gender justice advocate, recently returned from working in Pakistan with CLAAS, a Church of Scotland partner …
Their faces were animated as they punched the air, shouting ‘Ho, ho!’ Then came ‘the lion’s roar’ – and roar they did, deep, throaty sounds, rising up from their bellies before exploding from their mouths. For a moment they looked stunned, amazed their voices where capable of such strength. Then came a few embarrassed giggles, before the whole group erupted in laughter – spontaneous, infectious, joy-filled laughter! What a contrast to an hour earlier when this group of 15 women arrived, eyes cast down, arms wrapped around their shyness.
I was leading a workshop teaching simple body, mind, spirit practices which promote wholeness and healing at CLAAS in Lahore. CLAAS, the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement, works with Christians, a minority group experiencing increasing fear and violence in Pakistan. In 2019 CLAAS was involved in blasphemy, forced conversion, forced marriage, murder, domestic abuse and rape cases. CLAAS provides free legal aid, offers emergency shelter and a safe house, runs a comprehensive community development project, advocates and lobbies on current issues and seeks to engage in dialogue around these with their Muslim neighbours.
I first visited CLAAS with the Church’s Violence Against Women Task Group in 2017. As a result of conversations during that visit, I returned in August 2019 to facilitate the workshops using Capacitar practices. Among others, there were workshops for survivors of the 2015 Youhanabad church killings (14 killed, 78 injured), women living in Apna Ghar, the safe house, and CLAAS staff. Those attending had never worked with their bodies in this way. Their openness to risking something new and their responses were incredible. ‘I came here with a thumping headache and feeling stressed, but now my headache is gone, and I am totally relaxed,’ one man told the group. A woman shared: ‘This class has been wonderful. I came feeling confused. I now have a sharper focus. I feel calm and peaceful.’ The beauty of Capacitar’s practices is their simplicity. They require no expertise.
Infectious laughter, calm silence, deep sharing – each group’s response left me humbled.
But perhaps the moment that will stay with me most is seeing the smiles on Sarah and Asma’s faces (not their real names). I met this mother and daughter in 2017. Sarah is a survivor of an acid attack. In 2017 she hid her face behind her dupatta, eyes downcast, tears visible as her mother gave voice to her story. Two years later she is still rebuilding her life, supported by CLAAS. When she arrived at the first workshop, her mother still by her side, her face was as sad as any I have seen. After two workshops she was smiling widely, her eyes meeting mine with life and energy. Her mother hugged me tightly and could not stop saying, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ Sarah has a long journey to travel – as do all the women, men and children I met. But there is hope.
To all those Iona Community Family Groups and individuals who contributed to my fundraising for CLAAS, I want to say a huge thank you (to date £3,000 raised). CLAAS is a wonderful organisation engaged in courageous and life-giving work. Thanks!
– Valerie Allen
The lion’s roar © Val Allen. Used with permission
One of the best causes: volunteering with Care4Calais, from member Clare Sibley
Chatting to refugees at an unauthorised camp in Calais was in some ways like talking to any other bunch of young men. There was a lot of banter back and forth – about how many sugars they had in their coffee, about where I was from in the UK and how many children I had. Several of them called me ‘mummy’ as I offered them biscuits, but most were younger than my own son. A game of football started with much hilarity but ended prematurely when someone kicked the ball into the nearby lake.
We were distributing jumpers that day as well as handing out hot drinks. There was a charging board powered by a small generator for charging mobile phones. Nearby we had four camping chairs set up, with clippers and razors for mobile haircuts and beard trims. I spent some time mending a couple of coats with large rips in them.
But in other ways it was completely different – because we were not equal. They had endured persecution or were fleeing from war or conscription. They had travelled hundreds of miles with no money or shelter. They were living a precarious existence in makeshift camps with little hope of ever returning home to their communities. We had made a choice to visit, travelling safely with our passports and credit cards in our pockets. We could sleep warmly in our beds. We could go home.
Care4Calais shows how people coming together with a common cause – to support refugees – can make a huge difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable displaced people in our world. Volunteering is one of the most useful things I have done – working with others to connect in really practical ways with refugees. Mornings were spent in the warehouse, taking deliveries of donations and sorting them into relevant piles. Afternoons were spent doing distributions at different sites – Calais, Dunkirk, Brussels – with plenty of time for chat.
Thank you to everyone who gave me money or donations for Care4Calais – be assured that you have supported one of the best causes. It seems to me that, if a member of our family were in the same plight as the refugees, we would want someone in the world to help them.
– Clare Sibley
Clare Sibley is Deputy Cook on Iona.
Photo from Clare Sibley ©
Inspiring stories of community and church activism, by friend of the Iona Community John Leech and associate member Fiona Kendall
John Leech, a friend of the Community who lives in Arizona, and Fiona Kendall, who is European and Legal Affairs Advisor for Mediterranean Hope, recently crossed paths in their work of supporting migrants and refugees … Fiona is an associate of the Community …
Every January in Sahuarita, Arizona, near the US/Mexico border, two migration festivals run concurrently: the Border Issues Fair and Common Ground on the Border. The latter is an arts festival which enables those participating to articulate issues connected with migration, through workshops, concerts and myriad other activities. Both festivals are hosted by the UCC Church of the Good Shepherd, a church which, in its own right, plays a highly active role in supporting migrants in that region.
And so it was that Fr John Leech of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona found himself at Sahuarita one Saturday morning this January watching three speakers and a variety of musicians. Walt Mitchell lent his mastery of the hammer dulcimer – which John associates with the Appalachians – to a southwestern ballad, with PD Ronstadt and Scott Ainsley on guitar: just one example of a wonderful finding of musical common ground. And it was good for John to see and connect with old friends from Humane Borders, Kino Border Initiative, Cruzando Fronteras AZ, Café Justo, Tucson, Green Valley Samaritans, and more.
New to the party this year was Mediterranean Hope, the refugee project of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy. Staff member and social artist Francesco Piobbichi was one of the keynote speakers, his passionate address translated by Fiona Kendall, seconded to Mediterranean Hope by the Church of Scotland, UCC Global Ministries and the Methodist Church in Britain, all of whom share her as a mission partner.
John reports that in Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector massive change is afoot and, all too often, heads are kept spinning by the latest changes in federal policies and practices. Over the past six years he’s seen intrepid and continuing work by many people, as well as recent expressions of exhaustion.
Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson continues its work, well beyond the Sanctuary Movement, of advocating and acting on behalf of migrants and their families.
Congregations like Trinity Presbyterian Church work with community volunteers through Catholic Church agencies (Kino Border Initiative, Casa Alitas of Catholic Community Services) and United Methodists to take care of people who cross the border – and those who try but must then wait. Cruzando Fronteras AZ, an Episcopal project, is building a new shelter in Nogales on the south side of the border, to accommodate migrants and refugees.
San Juan Evangelista Lutheran Church and others not only do ministry on-site but take pastors and others across the border to deepen their understanding of the lives, heritage and spirituality of the people of northern Sonora. Volunteers with Humane Borders, Samaritanos of Tucson, Green Valley and No More Deaths continue their actions to provide succour to those in peril in the desert.
And, thanks to the efforts of journalists like Margaret Regan, Curt Prendergast and Nancy Montoya, as well as authors like John Carlos Frey and Reyna Grande, there is a record of what it is like to live and work through this perilous period.
For Fiona, the trip to Arizona was a valuable opportunity to connect with activists and congregations at a different border. Her colleague, Francesco, uses his drawings to communicate what is happening around the Mediterranean, a context which, on the surface, could not be more different from the arid Sonoran desert; what struck them both, however, was how many parallels there are between the two. The visible militarisation of the border, active deterrence and externalisation are as evident as the creeping criminalisation of humanitarian aid, be that assistance for parched migrants trudging across the scrub, be that rescue for those drifting towards Europe on overcrowded and waterlogged boats. The characterisation of migrants as a threat to security and culture, systematic suspension of rights in border zones, all sounded a familiar note.
Yet so, too, did the inspiring stories of community and church activism, of a determination to live out faith, to take risks for strangers and simply practise hospitality.
– John Leech and Fiona Kendall
‘Solidarity is not a crime’, by Francesco Piobbichi © Used by permission
A call to Iona Community folk in the Cumberland coastal region of the southeastern USA, from associate member Ran Nisbett
In view of our Iona commitment to one another by meeting, communicating and being personally accountable, and with regard to the creation of Common Concern Networks partnering to work for justice, peace and the care of creation (see Issue 3/2019 of Coracle), I encourage associate members in the Cumberland coastal region of the southeastern USA (LA, MS, AL, TN, GA, NC, SC, FL) to contact me using the information below.
My hope is that we can discern ways to communicate more regularly (perhaps a private social media group?), to engage, and to gather occasionally in solidarity. For example, perhaps it might be possible to ‘meet’ through technology annually, if not in person, to renew our vow to keep the Rule and to support one another.
E-mail: [email protected]
Grace, peace and joy,
Cumberland coastal region photo © Ran Nisbett
Eco-Congregation Chaplain, David Coleman, from Eco-Congregation Scotland
From Eco-Congregation Scotland:
Rev’d David Coleman is eager to get to know local congregations’ initiatives, and to hear of your trials and joys, and to lead or share leadership of worship, when appropriate, taking note of your own tradition. Encouraging the committed core of congregations is also a high priority. David is an experienced, ordained minister in the United Reformed Church, and is also a member of the Iona Community, having led programmed weeks at the Abbey. Invite David to visit you by getting in touch here: [email protected]
In preaching and in presentations, David makes exciting use of multimedia and is well-equipped to work in very varied venues, not just on Sundays or Sunday mornings. A visit from the chaplain is an opportunity to celebrate what it means to be an Eco-Congregation.
Photo of David Coleman ©
At Noor, a poem by associate member Jill Rhodes
From Jill Rhodes:
Last March I visited Palestine with a group from Derby, staying in Bethlehem in the West Bank. On a programme of visits we went to Ayda ‘Camp’, which, after 70 years, is a small town housing over six thousand internally displaced Palestinians …
we drank dark welcoming coffee from tiny paper cups,
then Islam, mother of six children, and her friend
helped us prepare maqluba for our lunch,
chopping eggplant, shiny peppers, onions,
mixing spices, fresh herbs and laughter
together round the table at Aida Camp.
And whilst the meal was cooking we went to see the sights –
escorted by our guide, who knows no other place –
the grey and narrow streets, the broken paving,
grim dividing WALL, graffiti displaying sadness, patience,
anger – and some humour. Stark barrier
imprisoning its people.
Then food, offered with smiles, with graciousness
at Noor – the Arabic for hope –
accompanied with sweet basbousa cake
– Jill Rhodes
Photo by Mike Mineter ©
Report from Scottish Christians Against Nuclear Arms (SCANA) Study Day, St George’s Tron Church, Glasgow, 16 November, 2019, from Iona Community member John Harvey
SCANA Study Day Report, from Ellen Charlton and Ian Milligan:
The Study Day was organised by SCANA to offer a forum for discussion on the issue of nuclear weapons and looking especially at campaigning and next steps. We had a good turnout and two excellent presentations from our speakers, Bishop William Nolan, Catholic Bishop of Galloway and President of the Scottish Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops’ Conference, and Bill Kidd MSP. Participants came from a broad spectrum of denominations.
Bishop Nolan spoke of the Roman Catholic current and historical approach to nuclear weapons. He pointed out that teaching issued by successive Popes, starting in 1963, had been to completely oppose the use of nuclear weapons, while initially making some allowances for the possession of nuclear weapons as an interim measure on the road to full nuclear disarmament. Since the 1980s, however, the Vatican, and the Scottish Bishops, had increasingly opposed the possession and renewal of such weapons systems, in statements emphasising the immorality of threatening to use such weapons and the huge level of expenditure involved, which was being diverted from the common good and especially from meeting the needs of the poor. Bill Kidd brought us up-to-date on the UN’s support for the Nuclear Ban Treaty, launched in 2015 and now signed by 122 countries. He also pointed out the depth of opposition to nuclear arms in the Scottish Parliament.
We spent some time looking at resources from various church organisations, including:
Each of these sites has a good set of resources, including videos, downloadable leaflets on specific issues, etc.
The key question concluding the day was how to engage congregations and young people in campaigning and widening discussion in the public domain. Suggestions included visiting youth groups, schools, clubs and other locations where young people were already gathering, instead of asking them to come along to yet another meeting. SCND have developed a substantial Peace Education website which contains a wealth of resources aimed at schools with links to the Curriculum for Excellence for schoolchildren. It includes a very good pack on Morality, Ethics and the Bomb and a Powerpoint on the Just War Theory which would make interesting presentations for anyone working with young people.
The day began and ended with a prayer – drawn from dedicated prayer and liturgy resources found on websites such as CAFOD and Christian CND – and we left more informed and inspired by the contributions of the participants as well as those of the speakers.
– Ellen Charlton and Ian Milligan, SCANA
Folk at Faslane, ©
SCANA’S Pentecost Peace Vigil at Faslane, midday, Saturday, 30th May, 2020, from SCANA (Scottish Christians Against Nuclear Arms)
From member John Harvey:
Each year around Pentecost, SCANA – Scottish Christians Against Nuclear Arms – hold a quiet act of worship, a Peace Vigil, for an hour, at midday, outside the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde, where Britain’s Weapons of Mass Destruction are held. We do this because we are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ compels us to act on his conviction that God asks of us to seek peace, to act for justice and to care for the whole of creation, people, animals and the planet. We believe it is better ‘to light a candle than to curse the darkness’. This year, on Saturday 30th May, we will be joined by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Martin Fair, and by Bishop Nolan of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission. Both these Churches have a firm and constant Gospel stance against the use, or threatened use, of nuclear weapons.
Photo from the Iona Community’s website ©
Bishop endorses new pilgrimage book by Iona Community member Stephen Wright
From the Diocese of Carlisle website:
A new book penned by a Cumbrian interfaith minister celebrates the launch of a pilgrimage route in honour of Cumbria’s ‘patron saint’. The Kentigern Way: A Life and Lakeland Pilgrimage is written by the Rev. Prof Stephen Wright and takes readers along a new pilgrimage route which connects churches named in honour of the 6th century saint. It also provides readers with an historical backdrop to both the saint and the region, while exploring what pilgrimage is. Prayers and reflections are provided throughout each stage.
Stephen, who is also a trustee and spiritual director of the Sacred Space Foundation, explained:
‘I moved to Cumbria in 1996 and it became something of an obsession to learn more about this man, Kentigern. His story grabbed hold of me, and I became very aware of his influence for us here in Cumbria. He’s as close to being our patron saint as anybody. So, this book is the culmination of more than 20 years of research and reading around his life. He’s a man who left no writings behind so there’s a wonderful air of mystery around him too. I’d become aware of a circle of churches in the northern fells which are associated with Kentigern. The natural progression was to develop a pilgrimage based on these churches.’ …
Photo of Stephen Wright from the Diocese of Carlisle website ©
Holy Rood House
Some info and news from our friends at Holy Rood House (Ed.)
From Holy Rood House:
Holy Rood House is a charity with a gentle Christian ethos, providing safer space for those of us who are finding life unsafe. Since 1993 we have been pleased to welcome all kinds of people, of all ages, for all kinds of reasons, from across Britain …
As well as professional, therapeutic support, or programmed events, our door is open for rest and relaxation, care for carers, spiritual retreat and accompaniment, training, study and sabbaticals or for a holiday …
Photo from the Holy Rood House website ©
A tribute to associate member Jack Barr
We are sad to announce the death of long-standing associate member Jack Barr. Jack’s funeral was held in Dunblane Cathedral on Wednesday 5th February, 2020.
We give thanks for a long and well-lived life, and hold his family and friends in our prayers.
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
‘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: Praying with the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications
MacLean’s Cross, Iona, by David Coleman ©
Tributes to Graham Maule
From the Iona Community website:
Following Graham’s untimely death at the end of last year we were inundated with messages and tributes, including many moving personal reminiscences from folk of their life-changing, affirming and encouraging encounters with him. There have also been some wonderful obituaries celebrating Graham’s rich life and the profound and wide-reaching effects of this:
When grief is raw
O Christ, you wept when grief was raw,
and felt for those who mourned their friend;
come close to where we would not be
and hold us, numbed by this life’s end.
The well-loved voice is silent now
and there is much we meant to say;
collect our lost and wandering words
and keep them till the endless day.
We try to hold what is not here
and fear for what we do not know;
oh, take our hands in yours, good Lord,
and free us to let our friend go.
In all our loneliness and doubt,
through what we cannot realise,
address us from your empty tomb
and tell us that life never dies.
– By John L. Bell and Graham Maule © Wild Goose Resource Group
Photo of Graham Maule ©
A tribute to member and former Iona Community Leader Peter Macdonald
‘… Tell him how we love him, and how we miss him, and how we long for the day when we shall meet him again’
The Iona Community is extremely sad to share news of the death, on Wednesday 12 February, of its member and former Leader (2009-2017), Peter Macdonald. Peter was the minister of Broughton St Mary’s Church in Edinburgh.
We remember Peter’s family and friends in prayer.
A full tribute to Peter will follow.
Photo of Peter Macdonald at Faslane, by David Coleman ©
Some upcoming Iona Community gatherings
Venues: Helensburgh United Reformed Church and then Clyde Naval Base, Faslane
Speaker: Janet Fenton of Scottish CND
As a community we believe that the use or threatened use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction is theologically and morally indefensible and that opposition to their existence is an imperative of the Christian faith. At this year’s West of Scotland Plenary we will be gathering to hear Janet Fenton – Vice Chair of Scottish CND, Secretary to the Scottish Parliament Nuclear Disarmament Cross Party Group, and the Scottish Liaison with ICAN, and then, following lunch, those who wish can travel to Faslane for an Act of Witness at Clyde Naval Base.
The plenary is open to all and you are welcome to attend all day or for just the morning or the afternoon sessions if you wish.
Please note that it is important to have an idea of numbers for the logistics of going to Faslane in the afternoon, as well as for catering, so if you are planning to attend please contact Bungie: [email protected]
At Faslane © David Coleman
Iona Community regional plenary in Bridge of Allan, Saturday 21st March, 2020
1-4pm at Lecropt Church Hall, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4NB
Open to associates, members and Friends of the Iona Community, and to anyone who has an interest in the work and life of the Iona Community.
Getting to know each other …
News about work on Iona, Mull and the mainland …
Bring your own lunch. Fruit, coffee and tea will be provided.
Parking available or 10 minute walk from Bridge of Allan railway station.
For more info, contact [email protected]
Geese © David Coleman
Cambridgeshire associates gatherings – 21st March, 13th June, 26th September, 2020
We are a small group of associates from the Cambridgeshire area who are interested in meeting regularly to spend time together, engage in issues of community and justice and to enjoy Iona-style worship. We would love to hear from others in the area who would be interested in participating.
Our first event is planned for Saturday 21st March, 12.30-4pm in Cambridge. We will share lunch together, have a short time of worship and spend time discussing what this community might look like. We then intend to meet together every 3 months or so – our next gatherings will be 13th June and 26th September.
If you would be interested in finding out more, or getting involved, please contact [email protected]
With best wishes,
Naomi, Robin, Kay and Dave
Geese on the wing © David Coleman
Iona South West England gathering, Saturday 28th March, 2020
11.00am till 4.00pm at South Street Baptist Church, Exeter, EX1 1EB
Theme: ‘Ways, means and marvels: Christian responses to the ecological crisis’
Cost: No charge, but contributions towards the cost are welcome: suggestion £7
Booking: Please book if you plan to come.
Contact David Osborne: [email protected]
If you are travelling by car and can offer a lift, please say.
This is a joint meeting with Green Christian and is open to all. We will find out about and explore different ways of responding globally, locally and personally to the ecological crisis. The day will include: information about various organisations and movements committed to producing significant change for a sustainable way of living; worship in the Iona Community-style; music; a bring-and-share lunch; a bookstall; and Iona Community news from the South West, Iona and elsewhere.
Geese © David Coleman
Spend 3 months in Palestine and Israel monitoring human rights, from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAAPI)
Church Action on Poverty: Speaking truth to power
When people in poverty get the opportunity to tell their stories, and to speak truth to power, real change happens. It’s the only way we will loosen the grip of poverty in the UK.
The Poverty Alliance
From Poverty Alliance:
‘We’re Scotland’s network of organisations and individuals working together to end poverty …’
The Iona Community is a member of the Poverty Alliance.
From the Poverty Alliance website ©
The Nuclear Non-Proliferaton Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons discussions at the UN, May 2020, from Janet Fenton, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, ICAN
From Janet Fenton, SCND:
… This year, the Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) gets closer to ‘entry into force’, that is the point at which it will become binding on those who join. For that to happen we only need 16 of the states who have already signed to complete ratification by putting it through their national legislation. All Greens, SNP and a good number of Scottish Labour Parliamentarians have signed a pledge to support the TPNW. The unique opportunity for our parliamentarians will arise because the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is due for Review in New York in early May …
From the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Website ©
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
From Stop Climate Chaos Scotland:
‘Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is a diverse coalition of over 40 civil society organisations in Scotland campaigning together on climate change.
Our members include environment, faith and belief groups, international development organisations, trade and student unions and community groups.
We believe that the Scottish Government should take bold action to tackle climate change, with Scotland delivering our fair share of action in response to the Paris Agreement and supporting climate justice around the world …’
The Iona Community is a member of Stop Climate Chaos.
Photo from the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland website ©
Demand a new deal for climate justice petition, from Christian Aid
From Christian Aid:
… In 2020, the UK government will be hosting the UN climate talks in Glasgow, giving it the opportunity to be a champion for climate justice. But to be a real champion, it must take rapid action at home and globally …
Photo from the Christian Aid website ©
An evening with Alastair McIntosh, from the Edinburgh Centre for Spirituality and Peace
Title of talk: ‘In our doom is our Dharma: Climate change and consciousness’
Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL
Date: Wednesday 17 June, 2020
Time: Registration: 6.30pm-7pm
Photo of Alastair McIntosh, by Dominique Carton ©
Touch the Earth lightly: Meditation and the future of the planet, annual conference of the World Community for Christian Meditation in the UK
News from some friends of the Community … (Ed.)
Passage of Play, by member Warren Bardsley, Church in the Marketplace, 2019; reviewed by Norman Shanks
‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?’ The question posed by C.L.R. James in his all-time classic Beyond a Boundary, a book about so much more than cricket, lies at the heart of Warren Bardsley’s latest book. Over recent years Warren has proved a prolific writer on a range of issues – among them biographies of Adomnán, the 8th century Abbot on Iona and author of the first life of Columba, and Geoffrey Ainger, a fellow Methodist minister; a moving and very helpful account of the experience of bereavement following the death of his dear wife, Joan; and most recently, reflecting his profound commitment to justice for Palestinians (he worked as a volunteer with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel and was one of the founders of Kairos Britain), a work marking the centenary of the infamous 1917 Balfour Declaration.
On the face of it this book appears to be different – more narrow and specialist perhaps in that it is about cricket, a continuing passion of Warren’s since his boyhood days when, growing up in Lancashire, he dreamed of playing for England. But it is about so much more than cricket and has an appeal not only to those who, like me, share Warren’s enthusiasm for the game. Threaded through the 106 pages are delightful recollections of aspects of his own life-journey, alongside his wider concerns and interests: as he says in the introduction, ‘the game of cricket reflects life in all its varied shades and meanings. In a sense too it mirrors society … the experience of failure and tragedy, as well as success and happiness.’
For the cricket aficionado, there are reminders of past controversies like the 1933 Bodyline series and the D’Oliviera affair, recollections of the outstanding West Indian teams of the 1950s and 1970s, accounts of such memorably exciting games as the 1981 Headingley Ashes Test and the World Cup final this past summer, comments on topical issues and current developments, and above all expressions of the sheer pleasure of watching and following cricket. But Warren never loses sight of the wider social and political context and provides many insights to stimulate further thought. For all this, its breadth and depth, and above all its warmth and charm, this book is to be highly recommended.
– Norman Shanks
Norman Shanks is a former Leader of the Iona Community.
To purchase Passage of Play, contact Warren at: [email protected]
Collect for the first Sunday in Lent, by member Kathy Galloway
O Christ, who entered into the lonely desert,
and who, facing hunger, danger and temptation,
did not turn aside
but affirmed the way of self-giving love,
strengthen us to resist the false attraction of easy answers,
abuses of power,
and the delusion that there is any way apart from justice
in which God’s justice can be done.
– Kathy Galloway, from Spring: Liturgical resources for February, March and April including Lent and Holy Week, Ruth Burgess (Ed.), Wild Goose Publications