The Glasgow Weekend

New Members sitting on steps of Glasgow University Chapel before the Hallowing Service

What a weekend we had in Glasgow from the 9th – 11th June! We share reports and highlights from the AGM, ColumbaFest and the Hallowing.


AGM Gathering in the Pierce Institute
AGM Gathering in the Pierce Institute. Credit: Iona Community/ W. Lloyd

Robin McLean, our finance and compliance manager,  provides an overview of what happened in the AGM.

Members gathered at the Pearce Institute and on Zoom for the Annual General Meeting on Friday 9th June. Proceedings were opened with a short service broadcast directly from Iona Abbey and led by Caro and our wonderful staff team on Iona. This was possible thanks to our recently installed Live Streaming equipment.

Paul Clelland gave a short presentation on our Financial Performance in 2022. Our financial recovery is continuing with key highlights being receipt of two large legacies totalling just under £500,000 and the creation of a Designated Fund for maintenance of island properties.

Walter Dunlop had intimated that he was resigning from Council at the AGM and a warm tribute was made to his valuable contributions to the life of the Community – especially during the Abbey refurbishment project and the upcoming Mac project. The Appointments Panel recommended that Desiree van der Hijden be appointed as a Trustee to replace Walter and this was unanimously approved.

The gathering also unanimously approved increasing Council numbers to 15 Trustees and two of these positions being restricted to Young Adults. The recruitment process for the positions has now started – do send this link to anyone Young Adults who you know who might be interested.

We heard reports from Ruth and Torsten outlined some of the key work that had been done throughout the previous 12 months. And in anticipation of Hallowing, all those being welcomed into New Membership of the Iona Community were identified and given a warm welcome of applause.

The Hallowing

Hallowing is a very special moment in the annual calendar of the Iona Community. We hope these photos, reflection and films give you a variety of ways to savour the memories of this significant time.

You can view the The order of service from the service and watch a recording.

You can read Ruth’s reflection, shared at the service.

You can hear from Michael about the significance of being Hallowed, for him.


How are we gathering ourselves now?

ColumbaFest provided a much needed space to process the lingering fragility and unprocessed grief, the unseen struggles and changed-forevers, that have resulted from Covid and lockdowns.

We bravely faced how things have changed, how we now gather after all we experienced during those unprecedented times.

Our gentle festival day helped us to share our journey by stages, marked in story, symbol, silence and song.

Feedback from one participant captures how special a time this ColumbaFest gathering was: 

‘I know that I was not alone in finding the entire day deeply moving and a time of profound sharing and healing. We all carry so many wounds still from that time of isolation uncertainty and fear, and we have much work to do in processing the impact on our lives and relationships. Thank you for speaking into that space in such a profound way.’

We took the symbol of our houses, what we became so familiar with during lockdowns, and considered how they might become guest houses, and together a village, a community. Inspired by the words of Rumi:

“This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival. 
A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor. 
Welcome and entertain them all!” 
*from Poem: The Guest House, Rumi 

Sisken Green drew the Saturday of our 2023 ColumbaFest to a beautiful end. 


For those who attended any or all of the Glasgow Weekend do remember to complete the evaluation form – you’ll find the link in the July e-coracle.

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