The Iona Community is inviting people around the world to secure the future of its centre and presence on the tiny Scottish island of Iona, by helping them raise £500,000 by the end of the year.
Iona is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland, and has been since St Columba established his community there in 563 AD.
The Iona Community was established in 1938, when it took up the mantle of St Columba to offer a place of worship and community in the rebuilt Abbey living spaces.
The Iona Community welcomes around 1500 guests each year, and has played a significant role in the island’s economy. Years of heavy use have taken their toll and a recent survey of the residential facilities revealed that, without some urgent repairs and long-term major investment, they would be unfit for purpose within seven years.
Reverend Kathy Galloway, Joint Leader of the Community, said: “The Iona Community wants to continue to welcome people to share life in community for generations to come, and to make sure we are accessible for all.
“This complex, exciting project will ensure people from around the world can continue to share in the Community’s life within the historic setting and beauty of Iona. We have completed phase one of the works, and now we need help to fully fund phase two.
“The abbey accommodation is the vehicle that enables people of all walks of life to engage with the community on Iona. It provides the unique opportunity to both challenge and inspire thousands of people each year into becoming change makers within their own communities.
“We want to adapt the living areas to be accessible for wheelchair users and people with mobility issues. We also want to install a renewable energy heating system and winter proof the building so that we can extend our season to welcome more visitors and volunteers each year. At the moment, many rooms are too cold to use past October.
“Thanks to the generosity of our members, who raised £300,000 in the month of May alone, we are now in the position where we might be able to begin Phase 2 earlier than expected. This will lead to substantial savings and mean we can open our doors in 2020.
“We have raised a magnificent £3 million to date. Another £500,000 is all we need to cross the line.
“We are hopeful that people in Scotland and beyond will recognise the great need to safeguard Iona Abbey as a living place of hospitality, and ensure that thousands more people can visit this special place seeking sanctuary and inspiration.”
The Iona Abbey Capital project will deliver improved access, new bedrooms and fully accessible shower rooms and toilets, improved insulation and washing facilities.
The Iona Community will work in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Iona Renewables on a renewable energy heating system, through a progressive, community-led energy project. The public will also have access to current ‘private’ spaces in Iona Abbey.
Donate by clicking here and help get the word out at meetings, on social media and among your friends and contacts. Watch the Iona Community Facebook page for more information. Contact: [email protected]. Thank you!
As Patron of the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal I am delighted by the Iona Community’s campaign to renovate the monastic buildings at the Abbey because I recognise the unique nature of this heritage site which offers hospitality as was originally intended. The distinctive pattern of community life at Iona Abbey is fundamental to the spiritual and economic well-being of the island and the impact reaches far beyond Iona.
I am encouraged that considerable progress has been made towards the target for the renovation project which will improve accessibility, accommodation and environmental sustainability. This initiative will enable the Iona Community to extend an inclusive welcome to people from all walks of life and to build on its commitment to issues of poverty, peace and social justice. It deserves all our support.
Now read more about the Appeal as a whole…
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 by increasing accessibility, flexibility and sustainability.
The project will be the catalyst that will expand the Abbey’s impact through:
- Increasing participation by making our facilities accessible for all
- Providing a safe and open gathering place for people seeking personal and social transformation
- Reaching a diverse audience with the message and social action of the Iona Community
- Extending education , training and placement opportunities
- Extending the season and assisting the economic and cultural flourishing of Iona and Mull
- Strengthening long-term financial sustainability
The project will enable the Iona Community to provide facilities which match our hospitality.
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 help us cross the line and raise £500,000 required to complete this project. There are many ways for you to be involved and help in raising these vital funds and welcome donations.
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)
Options for donating to Iona Abbey Capital Appeal include:
- a single payment
- a regular payment spread over a number of years
- a pledge (see pledge form below)
- donations using gift-aid envelopes when there is a group activity
- Taking part in the Pilgrim £ project
Donors can pay money into the Capital Appeal Account:
- by cheque, made out to ‘The Iona Community, with ‘Abbey Capital Appeal’ written on the back and a note highlighting the gift is for the appeal
- by debit or credit card, using the red button below and selecting ‘Abbey Capital Appeal’ as the destination
- by bank transfer to the CO-OP Bank, specifying ‘Abbey Capital Appeal’ in the reference section:
Sort code: 83-91-25
Account Number: 70046573
IBAN/Swift code: GB44 CPBK 8391 2570 0465 73
BIC code: CPBKGB22
Fundraising for the appeal
- Step 1 – Contact us [email protected] Tel +44 (0)141 429 7281
- Step 2 – Let us help publicise your fundraising event
- Step 3 – Set up a fundraising page through Virgin Money Giving
- Project Summary, August 2018
- Introductory video to ‘Cross the Line’
- Iona Abbey Capital Appeal Slideshow
- A video message from the islanders
- Project Leaflet (A4)
- Project Leaflet (A4 trifold)
- Iona Community Charter of purposes, principles, and practices
- Iona Community Charter (short)
In the Press
- Pilgrimage site needs offerings for restoration
The Times (Scotland), 02/07/2018, p.23, Jeremy Watson
“One of Scotland’s most famous religious and spiritual centres is appealing for £500,000 for urgent repairs. The Iona Community wants to raise the money by the end of the year to fix the accommodation it provides for pilgrims from around the world and make it more accessible.”
- Iona Abbey community appeals for help to stay on island
Press and Journal, 02/07/2018, p.8, Chris MacLennan
“The Iona Community charity has invited people from around the world to aid in its quest to secure £500,000 by the end of the year to safeguard its presence on the remote Hebridean isle.”
- Iona plea for £500,000 so pilgrims can still progress
The Herald, 02/07/2018, p.9, Fiona Mckay
“1,500 guests to its Hebridean shores every year. However, the fate of the historical abbey precinct has recently been plunged into doubt because it has veered dangerously into disrepair. The Iona Community, the Christian group based on the island, said years of heavy use have taken their toll on the residential facilities at the island’s abbey.”
- Iona Community needs offerings for restoration
The Times Online, 02/07/2018, p.1, Unattributed
“One of Scotland’s most famous religious and spiritual centres is appealing for £500,000 for urgent repairs.The Iona Community wants to raise the money by the end of the year to fix the accommodation it provides for pilgrims from around the world and make it more accessible.”
- Iona community in final bid to save facilities
Herald Scotland (Web), 02/07/2018, p.1, Fiona McKay
“Recently the fate of the historical abbey precinct has been plunged into doubt after the Christian group based on the island said it has veered dangerously into disrepair. Read more: Iona Community’s future in ‘serious jeopardy’ The Iona Community has said that years of heavy use have taken their toll on the residential facilities at the island’s abbey, with a recent survey revealing that “without some urgent repairs and long-term major investment, they would be unfit for purpose within seven years”.”
- Iona Community launches £500,000 appeal
The Scotsman, 02/07/2018, p.12, Jolene Campbell
“The Iona Community has launched an appeal to raise £500,000 for an accommodation overhaul. The Community welcomes around 1500 guests each year and has played a significant role in the island’s economy.”