What is Iona?
Iona has long been a site of spirituality and pilgrimage. It is a tiny island on the western edge of Scotland that was sacred to the Druids long before St. Columba landed there in the 5th century, and during Columba’s time it became the center of a unique Celtic Christianity that had a profound influence all over Britain and Europe. It remains one of the most profound places of pilgrimage in the world. In addition to over 100,000 pilgrim visitors a year, it is also home to the Iona Community, a modern monastic community founded in the early 20th century, with a mission of social justice that has had worldwide influence.
Where will we stay?
We will reside for a week at Bishop's House a beautiful Anglican retreat center on the shore of the island, a stone’s throw from the 12th century Benedictine abbey. We will share three meals a day and have full and exclusive use of the house, which holds 21 guests in double and single rooms.
What will we do?
This will be a pilgrimage different from previous Trinity pilgrimages: rather than travel daily (toward Santiago, or in the footsteps of Jesus or Paul), we will anchor down in a place of extraordinary natural beauty and power to reflect deeply on the ancient Celtic Christian vision of the world made whole, and on the particular way we are called to live out that vision. We will pray daily together (in Columba’s chapel at the center of the house and at the Abbey church with the Iona Community. We will have a daily reflection and a daily group sharing. We will walk and talk and write and read and eat together, and alone, each finding our balance of internal and external engagement.
Why should I go?
Pilgrimage is a powerful and transforming way to read one's life in the world, and Iona has since the fifth century been one of the most prominent places of teaching and reflection on the pilgrimage of life. Spending a week with other pilgrims, following the 'holy leisure' of the program schedule, amidst the haunting beauty and history of the island can be a life-changing experience.
What is included in this pilgrimage?
The pilgrimage costs $750 for full room and board for 7 days, with the whole house reserved for our group. Travel plans are made and paid for independently, but there will be a recommended group flight and ground travel to Iona. Scholarship is always available.
How do I hold a space?
Registration is open from now until the house fills. To hold a space, you must make a $300 deposit, which is fully refundable until 9 months before the trip (75% refunded - 6 months 50%, etc). Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space. Space will be held on a first-come basis.
How can I learn more about Iona?
The following links can help you discover more:
Iona on Wikipedia
Celtic Christianity on Wikipedia
Celtic Christianity on Earlychurch.com
Bishops house on Wikipedia
Island Retreats accommodation information
Iona community on Wikipedia
Iona community official website