Reflecting on Work Week on Iona

A view of Iona from the ferry

Work Week on Iona is a time for volunteers, staff and guests to re-awaken our centres for the season.
It’s also been a time of re-awakening for two of our guests, Carrie and Lakshmi.


Carrie Gooch - a volunteer at Work Week on Iona
Carrie volunteered on Iona during Work Week. Photo credit: Carrie G

Carrie’s heart-warming transformation

“I have just returned from Work week on Iona filled with gratitude for all the wonderful ‘guests’, staff and volunteers who worked together productively and harmoniously all week.  There was every kind of weather and yet by the end of the week, Terry had led a transformation team in ALL the garden places we look after.

When I first entered the Mac, I had a heart sink moment, thinking of all the important moments in my life that had happened in that place which now was such a mess. But AGAIN, by the end of the week a transformation in so many areas, rubbish and chaos replaced by burgeoning order and creative potential.

New staff in new roles finding their way, spring growth and a lick of paint going here and there both in the Abbey and up the hill. Things being cleared out or tidied up in all sorts of corners and various trips to the dump, and a Gaelic-centred agape to close the week.

It is heart-warming to know the Mac is going to be alive again this season. Staff and volunteers are already resident in it and groups planning to stay there.

I left the island feeling delighted we are set up for an excellent season with a wonderful positive collection of staff and volunteers to greet all those who arrive at our door.”


Lakshmi lingers on work and worship

Image of the art room in the MacLeod centre being refreshed for the season
The art room in the MacLeod Centre being refreshed for the season ahead. Photo credit: Lakshmi

“Starting from March 11th, I spent 6 nights with the Iona Community, joining them for their ‘Work Week’; a week of ~20 guests (like myself), joining forces with Iona Community volunteers and staff to get the Abbey ready for the guest season. I had a wonderful time cleaning windows, collecting seaweed from the beach to fertilise the raspberry canes (I felt like such a crofter!), sieving soil, planting crocuses and having fun with poster paint decorating bits of cardboard to serve as black-out-blinds! I was very glad to have been put on such outdoorsy jobs (!), and above all, I deeply appreciated the camaraderie which arose from working together in small teams on manual tasks.”

Lakshmi writes beautifully about her time on Iona, and her observations of worship at Iona Abbey Church. She says, “All this work was so beautifully held within the wider rhythms of the day. The final verse of a hymn particularly touched me during my time on Iona, and speaks powerfully to what Christian community is about for me.”

Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
Making your kingdom come.

You can find more of Lakshmi’s reflections on her blog.

Skip to content