A chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the island and to rebuild community by sharing in the common life and daily worship of the Iona Community. A mix of stillness, adventure and collaborative activities, with home-cooked food, pilgrimage, learning, environmental practice and action for justice and peace. Meals are shared in the refectory. Guests help with the running of the Abbey by working on simple tasks and in leading worship in the Abbey Church. The Iona Community is ecumenical, inclusive and radical. We work in partnership with all people of goodwill, irrespective of nationality, religious tradition or political creed.
Accommodation on Offer
There are 21 guest rooms. Of these, 5 are single, 11 are twin, 3 are triple and 2 are quadruple. You may have to share a bedroom and bathroom with someone you don't know.
There are 3 single bedrooms that are fully accessible. One is en-suite with an accessible bathroom; two have easy access to a second accessible bathroom. There are no twin bedrooms that are fully accessible.
Retreat Centre Facilities
Types of Retreat Offered
Work Week: Help us get ready for the season starting in March or with those end of season jobs in November. For energetic people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Discounted rate.
Work Week 1: March 9th – 15th
Work Week 2: November 2nd – 8th
Time and Space Weeks allow you to experience life in community at Iona Abbey. Staying at the Abbey includes participating in regular worship, sharing in meals and joining in community tasks. An optional programme will encourage reflection on issues of inclusion, ecological justice and peace through creativity and discussion.
March: 16th – 22nd
April 6th – 12th
May 11th – 17th
May 25th – 31st
June 15th – 21st
June 29th – July 5th
July 13th – 19th – Special Time and Space week for families
August 24th – 30th
September 7th – 13th
October 12th – 18th
October 26th – November 1st
Holy Week and Easter 2024: Experience the heartache, confusion, silence and joy of the journey through Holy Week into Easter.
Dates: March 27th – April 2nd
Why protest matters: How do we confront power peacefully? We will explore answers to this question by connecting current examples of activism with the stories of Jesus.
April 13th – 19th
Ways of Seeing, Ways of Being: An artist’s introduction to the Isle of Iona as a creative wellspring and how it might support us to respond to the complexities of today’s world. Led by Iona artist, Mhairi Killin, this week will include observation, contemplative walks, conversation and hands-on making. No artistic skills are required: just an openness to observe.
April 20th – 26th
A week to immerse ourselves in the wonder of nature, on Iona and beyond. Come and draw on the resources of community living and faith to activate or sustain your activism in response to catastrophic climate change and ecological breakdown. Facilitated by David Coleman, Iona Community Member and Eco-Congregation Scotland Chaplain.
April 27th – May 3rd
The miracles unboxed with John Bell: Has science or cynicism put an end to thinking about miracles of which the gospels record thirty one? John Bell believes they are buried treasure more to activists than pietists, sometimes funny in the extreme, sometimes profoundly unsettling.
May 4th – 10th
September 21st – 27th
Wild Goose Resource Group: An immersion in the practice and purpose of creative, participative liturgy, led by Jo Love and friends. We hope that all who come are keen to be actively involved in the programme. When you reserve a place, Wild Goose Resource Group will be in touch to find out about your interest in creative worship.
May: 18th – 24th
Grounding our lives in God & creation – The call to live into the ‘hereness’: This week of ‘grounding’ will listen to voices and embed practices that ‘re-mind’ of who we are. We will respond to poets and mystics, artists and bards, who invite us to risk living into healing—for ourselves and others; for our earth and all creatures. Join us to explore how we might become more faithful stewards of and with our lives. Co-Facilitated by Dr. Mark S. Burrows & Rev. Ute Molitor.
June: 1st – 7th
Hope of Scots: a celebration of Columba’s legacy, examining themes of purpose, leadership, openness, statecraft, activism and belief.
June 8th – 14th
Dùthchas and Everyday Celtic Spirituality Drawing on the Celtic tradition from Columba (Colmcille) to the Carmina Gadelica and beyond, we will explore ecological connections and everyday practices of respect for the earth. Led by Mairéad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kokel.
June 22nd – 28th
Sound + Vision:A festival of invention and creation: readings, workshops and learning activities around seditious creativity: song writing, poetry, text-based, visual and audio storytelling. Come to celebrate, learn, experiment, explore.
July 6th – 12th
Global Song: Explore congregational songs from around the world, including how they can enrich our worship and help us meaningfully connect with God, each other, and the world around us. We will weave song with themes of justice, peace and the integrity of Creation. Suitable for any level of music ability. Facilitated by Iain McLarty, Associate Member of the Iona Community with extensive experience of delivering training and leading worship in international contexts.
July 27th – 2nd August
Superpower your activism: Calling all environmental, ecological and climate justice activists. Come to the beautiful island of Iona for some galvanising campaign workshops and activities to help us face the challenge of the environmental crisis together.
August 17th – 23rd
YouthFest 2024: Beach days and scavenger hunts, a boat trip, ceilidh, night time stories and in-depth discussions about what really matters. During YouthFest, we’ll all live in community and participate in daily worship at the ancient Iona Abbey.
August 3rd – 9th
Women’s Spirituality Week: Facilitated by Cameron and Paul Nieboer, more information to follow.
August 10th – 16th
LGBTQ+ Week: A week of creative activities, peaceful spaces and workshop/sharing times to enable LGBTQ+ people and those in sympathy to find space for both rest and resistance in a time of change and division. The week will include optional craftivism projects, multi-sensory prayer and worship, outdoor activities, movement and writing, enabling a time of learning, growing and caring for each-other. The week will be led by Alex and Jo Clare-Young.
August 31st – September 6th
Interfaith Week: Dates: September 14th – 20th
Wild Goose Publications’ Week: A week to celebrate creativity and spiritual enquiry. Readings by Wild Goose authors, and space to write your own poems and prayers.
September 28th – October 4th
God carry me: Exploring our lives as pilgrimage, deepening our resources to face climate change with Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil and Soul, Hell and High Water, Poacher’s Pilgrimage and more.
October 5th – 11th
Stillness in Community: No programme sessions, but sharing community meals, work and worship. Not a completely silent week, but a time for stillness and reflection.
November 11th – 15th : Mon – Fri (4 nights)
November 18th – 22nd: Mon – Fri (4 nights)
November 25th – 29th: Mon – Fri (4 nights)
Light in the Darkness – some programme activities to celebrate Advent. Dates: December 2nd – 6th : Mon – Fri (4 nights)
Christmas on Iona: celebrate the feast of Christmas in good company amid the winter beauty of Iona.
Dates: December 22nd – 28th: – Christmas on Iona
Retreat Centre Location
Isle of Iona PA76 6SN, UK