Pilgrimage to Iona

The Iona Community is based on the Island of Iona, off Mull on the west coast of Scotland. It is an ancient place of pilgrimage associated with St. Columba, whose grave is beside the Abbey. This sacred place of worship was renewed as a centre of pilgrimage during the war years when Rev’d. George McLeod took unemployed men from his Glasgow parish to rebuild the ruins. Now a vibrant church and community attracting thousands every year to its shores, those in search of a place of peace and of challenge for the living of the kingdom of God today. The renewed Community is built on social gospel principles and has a vibrant outreach of worship, music and creativity. Wild Goose worship materials, linked with the work of John Bell and others, have helped many congregations to discover a relevant and connected dimension for worship today. The sign of the wild goose is the Celtic symbol for the Holy Spirit.

In September 2008 a group of thirteen went on pilgrimage to Iona, travelling to and from by train together. We greatly benefited from time away together and were immersed in the Abbey programme exploring Belief in Britain led by Ian Bradley. This time was combined with living in community and sharing the chores, daily tasks of cleaning and food preparation as well as enjoying plenty of time to walk and explore the island beaches and rocks. Every day was shaped by two acts of worship in the Abbey led by members of the Iona Community morning and evening and the opportunity to learn new songs of worship. It is hoped that another journey will be possible before too long!