Iona Community launches appeal for £500,000

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The Iona Community is inviting people around the world to secure the future of its centre and presence on the tiny Scottish island by helping raise £500,000 by the end of the year.

Iona is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland, and has been since St Columba established his community there in AD563.

The Iona Community was established in 1938, when it took up the mantle of St Columba to offer a place of worship and community in the rebuilt Abbey living spaces.

The Iona Community welcomes around 1,500 guests each year, and has played a significant role in the island’s economy. Years of heavy use have taken their toll and a recent survey of the residential facilities revealed that, without urgent repairs and long-term investment, they would be unfit for purpose within seven years.

The Rev Kathy Galloway, joint leader of the Iona Community, said: ‘The abbey accommodation is the vehicle that enables people of all walks of life to engage with the community on Iona.

‘We want to adapt the living areas to be accessible for wheelchair users and people with mobility issues. We also want to install a renewable energy heating system and winter proof the building so that we can extend our season to welcome more visitors and volunteers each year. At the moment, many rooms are too cold to use past October.

‘We are now in the position where we might be able to begin phase two earlier than expected. This will lead to substantial savings and mean we can open our doors in 2020.

‘We have raised a magnificent £3 million to date. Another £500,000 is all we need to cross the line.’

To find out more, visit https://iona.org.uk/capital- appeal-information/.