NEEDED: Volunteers to work 2021 season at the newly refurbished Iona Abbey Centre in the Scottish Hebrides 

2021 is set to be an extra-ordinary year in the long history of the Iona Community. After two years closed for refurbishment, then delays caused by the global pandemic, our Iona Abbey Centre is due to re-open to guestson 29 May 2021, Covid regulations permitting.. We are recruiting now for volunteers to join the resident staff team.  

We welcome applications throughout the year (see ‘How to Apply’ below).

In 2021, the Iona volunteer programme will run as part of the Iona Community Unlocked programme, providing opportunities to overcome the effects of lockdown. We particularly welcome applications from people whose life plans have been knocked off course eg by the impact of Covid on exams, studying or redundancy.



Preference will be given to volunteers able to commit for a minimum of 3 months between May and October, with a few positions also available in the last quarter of the year..  



Roles are available across the Iona operation, from the kitchen to the back office, the Abbey church to the housekeeping. Please read the Volunteer Profiles  for more information. All volunteers must be good team players – whatever role you are allocated, sometimes you will be asked to help in other areas too.   

Volunteering at Iona means being part of a shared ministry of hospitality and the common life of work and worship. As well as carrying out your particular tasks you will also be expected to eat and worship in community, engaging with guests and visitors. You should share the Iona Community’s Christian commitment and have an understanding of its aims and purposes.  


What’s it like?  

Volunteering on Iona could be one of the most enriching experiences that you have in life – this is certainly what many of our past volunteers tell us. It is demanding, though, and not for everyone. We therefore encourage you to think carefully before applying as to whether it is the right move for you. We have prepared the document Volunteering on Iona – an introduction to help you. 


What is provided for volunteers  

  • Travel expenses are paid for from whatever point you set off from the UK mainland. We ask that you travel as economically as you can. 
  • Volunteers are provided with free board and lodging (inclusive of all facilities such as electricity, heating and broadband). 
  • Volunteers receive an allowance of £30 a week. 
  • Volunteers live in Iona Community premises on the island 


Applicants from outside the UK 

Volunteers at Iona come from all over the world, and considerably enrich our common life, Sadly, in 2021, given the continuing uncertainties around Covid and travel restrictions, we have reluctantly decided not to appoint any volunteer coming from outside the UK.

We very much hope that it will be possible to welcome overseas volunteers again in 2022. Please note that, anyone without the right to live and work in the UK (including, since 1 January 2021, citizens from the EU) must apply on their own behalf for a visa, including paying the UK government processing fee. We are unfortunately not in a position to help you with the cost of the fees but can provide support and information to support your application. 


How to apply 


Visit the Iona Volunteers page on our website

Please complete the Iona Volunteer Application Form and return to the [email protected].


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