Transforming lives to change the world

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.

“Guests and staff alike, from many different backgrounds and countries, return home from their time in the Abbey with their horizons extended, their lives enriched, new friendships made, their commitment strengthened: long may this continue!”
Rev’d Norman Shanks – former Leader of the Iona Community

The capital appeal

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 re-assessing 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.

The Iona Community has commissioned Tiree-based Roots Design Workshop to draw up proposals for reconfiguration of the existing accommodation in the Abbey, taking into account the considerable challenges of working in a listed building of significant historical interest, on a remote island. As a result of the survey of the building we have been made acutely aware of the critical need to carry out these works as a matter of extreme urgency.

In partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, we will ensure that active use of this iconic building, for its original purpose, is safeguarded for the future.

“Iona is a safe space, where the labels that usually define us can come off, and we can meet each other simply as human beings, in all our potential and our vulnerability.”
Rev’d John Harvey – former Leader of the Iona Community

The project

The key areas of work required to welcome people of all physical abilities are:

  • new level access and doors.
  • installation of a lift to the first floor accommodation.
  • reconfiguration of the refectory to create an inviting and accessible communal space.
  • improved kitchen and servery facilities.
  • provision of new toilets and showers.
  • reconfiguration of bedrooms for single or twin occupancy.
  • enhanced lighting and design in corridors to aid access and mobility.
  • improved insulation and installation of a new heating system.

These improvements will enable the Iona Community to provide facilities which match our hospitality. They will also enable us to extend the guest season, to welcome more people and to improve financial sustainability across the organisation.

The rebuilding of the Abbey captured the hearts and minds of a previous generation. To keep alive their legacy we must invest in the future. We invite you to be part of this challenging venture. We seek your assistance to raise the £2.5 million required to undertake this project. There are many ways for you to be involved and help in raising these vital funds.

We welcome individual donations or would be delighted to discuss contributions towards specific elements of the development. Your donations are vital to the success of the planned works.

Email [email protected] Tel +44 (0)141 429 7281

“In a world where Madeline L’Engle lamented, “Christians have given Christianity a bad name”, the Iona Community presents a positive witness to biblically-rooted, socially progressive faith.  We are delighted to help strengthen that witness by supporting the renewal of the Community’s island presence, furthering its outreach.” Carol Myers (USA)

 Capital Appeal Standing Order and Gift Aid Form

Fundraising for the appeal


In the press