Leader of the Iona Community – Michael Marten
I became Leader of the Community in June 2017, having been a Member for nearly 25 years. The Community has been a part of me as much as I have been a part of it over these years, and it has shaped and influenced my life in numerous ways.
I first encountered the Iona Community as a student, staying in the MacLeod Centre on Iona in the second week it opened. I have lived and worked in various contexts in Europe and the Middle East, working initially in development and political lobbying, before moving into academia. I have written extensively on church history and interfaith relations. This has informed my engagement in seeking new ways to build right relationships. Having been in Family Groups in Scotland, the Middle East and England, I value the importance of local involvement and activism, with the Family Group helping me to keep the Rule of the Community.
It is the exploration of what community means and how we can find new ways to live it and be accountable to one another that gives me hope and encouragement to challenge all that harms us and the world around us.
Some of our members
The Iona Community is an ecumenical Christian community of women and men who seek to live out the Gospel in a way that is radical, inclusive and relevant to life in the 21st century.
Below you will find some ‘Pen Portraits’ of our members:
Alison Swinfen (works as Alison Phipps)
I am a teacher, writer, poet, piper, gardener, fond of high hills, less fond of slugs.An activist and hospitality provider for sanctuary seekers and those passing through. I am presently fostering Rima from Eritrea and learning Tigrigna. I am engaged in the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation, 2011, for the World Council of Churches and Senior Advisor to the British Council on intercultural justice. I regularly deliver public lectures and media outreach. I am a linguist, anthropologist, educator and theologian; Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies; Co-Convener: Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Research Network, University of Glasgow http://www.gla.ac.uk/gramnet
As a Methodist minister serving in an urban context, how I serve has been profoundly shaped by my relationship with the Iona Community as both an Associate and now a Member. My understanding of God has grown within the bigger picture as a result of experiences lived within an ecumenical community. The impact has been grounded locally within a deprived neighbourhood and supported throughout by the local family group. I have discovered a community of activists who are moved to celebrate a living God through a style of worship which encourages creative expression.
I am Church of Scotland Parish Minister in Mid Argyll working with the congregations of Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford linked with North Knapdale. I am currently convener on the Argyll Family Group and have a keen interest in environmental and wildlife issues and the Eco-congregation movement and when I am not busy with work, I like walking my dogs, or training with the local Traithlon club.
The recent installation of a wood burning stove means that finding and chopping or sawing wood has become another exciting way to save money and generate heat.
Teun Kruijswijk Jansen
Hello, I am one of three members from the Netherlands. There are also 65 Dutch friends, in six ‘region’ groups. Iona and the resources of the Iona Community have touched us all. We are inspired by the belief of incarnation and a style of living that encourages peace and justice.
I helped to organise the Dutch Iona Group (est. 1999) and the production of Dutch songbooks and CD. I have also helped develop the Dutch edition of Coracle called Grieshog.
For my membership I developed an ecumenical and 40 days of Easter project that is very helpful in preparing for a spiritual Easter.
In daily life I work as a pastor in a protestant parish near Utrecht, and I specialise in spiritual accompaniment. I am married to Trudy and we have three children: Lidwien, Florean and Irene.