At this time of acute global public health crisis, and taking into account guidance and direction from governmental and public health authorities, the leadership team and Council of the Iona Community have made the following decisions. As an organisation running residential centres, a book and craft shop and a publishing department, these decisions will have huge practical, pastoral and financial implications for many individuals, for members of staff and for the Community as a whole. However, the health and wellbeing of everyone towards whom we have a responsibility must be paramount.


The Abbey will remain closed to residential guests till at least the beginning of July. We will be constantly reassessing the situation in the light of public health and governmental guidelines. The Abbey Bookings Office will be contacting everyone who has already booked to come to Iona during that period.

‘Outside Holiness’: Unfortunately we have had no choice but to cancel ‘Outside Holiness’ –  the retreat for Holy Week. We are planning instead to run at least one retreat in October based at the St Columba and those booked on the Holy Week retreat will be able, if they wish, to transfer their booking to this (the St Columba hotel have said they will transfer non-refundable deposits from those booked in there for ‘Outside Holiness’ to the October week to enable people to attend. Please contatct the hotel directly to arrange this)

The Community Shop will close to the general public (as will every other shop on the island with the exception of the Spar shop). We are exploring the possibility of some online trading from the shop.

Historic Environment Scotland are closing all their historic sites to public access. This includes Iona Abbey. The small resident group whose home the Abbey is will continue to pray the Daily Office in the sanctuary, and offer prayers for healing. The Iona Prayer Circle will continue to offer prayer through its dispersed online network of intercessors.

Phone and internet outage on Iona.  Due to a lightning strike we currently have limited telephones and internet access in our Welcome Centre Offices.

2020 Programme Details

All weeks (except the Christmas on Iona week) begin on Saturdays and end on Fridays. A children’s programme for age 4+ will be offered during July and August weeks, and for the Christmas week.

Week beginning 1 August: ‘Braving the Elements’
A week’s immersion in the practice and purpose of creative, participative liturgy. Led by Jo Love of the Wild Goose Resource Group, with Carol Marples and Jane Bentley.
*Please note that as a first step you need to apply directly to the Wild Goose Resource Group in Glasgow using this form. Please DO NOT complete an Abbey booking form until you have heard back from WGRG confirming your place.

**Please also note that there is a supplementary charge of £50 Adult, £25 Student/16-21 to offset increased resource and material costs for this week.

Week beginning 8 August to week beginning 5 September
Time and Space…to experience life in community and explore the here and now
(details as above)

Week beginning 12 September: Focus on Music
Enjoy a programme of making music and sharing song, with the emphasis on participation, where even those who think they can’t sing surprise themselves. Led by the Abbey Musicians
Week beginning 19 September to week beginning 10 October:
Time and Space…to experience life in community and explore the here and now
(details as above)

Week beginning 17 October: Community Week (Please note that this week is for Iona Community Members only)

Week beginning 24 October: ‘Exploring the Imagination’
For some people it is a bogus reality, for others a source of delight, but what was God’s purpose in bestowing those made in God’s image with imagination? In this week we will look both at the Divine imagination as exhibited in scripture, and at how our lives are fed and nurtured by the creative minds of others and what sometimes bubbles up inside. This is not a flight of fancy! Led by John Bell
Week beginning 31 October: Work Week
An energetic but enjoyable week for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, as the Abbey gets its autumn spring-cleaning!
Weeks beginning 14 November and 21 November: Quiet weeks
for individual guests (no programme, but sharing community meals and worship). 3-night stays are also possible and these can either be taken from either Saturday or Tuesday.

Week beginning 28 November: ‘Watching and Waiting’: a reflective Advent programme

Weeks beginning 5 December and 12 December: Quiet weeks (as above)

Tuesday 22 -Monday 28 December: Christmas on Iona
Celebrate the feast of Christmas in good company amid the winter beauty of Iona.


For information on the 2020 Camas programme and prices please visit the Camas Programme Page

If you have queries which cannot be answered by reading the information on the appropriate pages, please email [email protected] or call 01681 700404. For all bookings and supplementary assistance enquiries please use the website forms.

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