By Jane Bentley
A full-colour consultant to the Iona Pilgrimage, either off-road and on-road, together with a wealthy selection of readings, prayers, poems, pictures, songs, tales and reflections. For viewers to the island and 'armchair pilgrims' alike.
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Extra resources for Around a Thin Place. An Iona Pilgrimage Guide
You calm the roar of the seas and the noise of the waves. The whole world stands in awe of your deeds, of the great things you have done. Your deeds bring shouts of joy from one end of the earth to another. And every hillside declares your glory. Psalm 65 (adapted) Psalm 8 Psalm 40:1–3 REFLECTION Marble Quarry Your marks are here – elemental massive incomprehensibly long in the making. And ours too … ingenious, persistent, but so young and slight. And I? I am so small a thing in this ancient cosmos yet am known and loved by you: my name is engraved on your palm, your love is inscribed on my life … and through that bearing of one another’s marks perhaps we have both been changed … Pat Bennett SONGS Christ the worker, Free to Serve (Hope Publishing) From creation’s start, Iona Abbey Music Book (Wild Goose Publications) COLUMBA’S BAY Columba and his followers are said to have landed on this pebbly, windswept beach in the year 563, having travelled from Ireland in a leather-bound boat known as a curragh.
I am a soldier of Christ: I cannot fight,’ he confessed. Martin dedicated the rest of his life to the ministry of hospitality, good works, and evangelism, playing a prominent role in the mission to the Celts. ’ Carved on the east face of St Martin’s Cross are jewel-like bosses and an interweaving Celtic pattern, symbolic of the intertwining of earth and heaven, the sacred and the secular. George MacLeod, the Founder of the Iona Community, famously said of Iona: ‘Iona is a very thin place. ’ On the west side of the cross are scenes from the Bible: Daniel in the lion’s den, Abraham and Isaac, David playing the harp, the Virgin and Child … St Martin’s life – like our own unpredictable lives – was an amazing journey of straight roads, sudden life-changing encounters, crossroads of indecision, complete turnarounds, new horizons … Think for a moment about your own life journey up until now … And of those you journey alongside today: friends and strangers on this pilgrimage; companions on the road of life; brothers and sisters in the wider world, with whom we share this precious planet.
A note about safety There are two pilgrimages described in this book – the ‘off-road’ and the ‘on-road’. The off-road pilgrimage is a walk of nearly seven miles over boggy and rocky terrain. Strong footwear and waterproof clothing are essential, along with food and drink for the journey. We have included a map, but have left it very basic to encourage you to travel with a proper, detailed map – people have lost their lives by simply heading off to explore the island, and even broken limbs may require a helicopter airlift to hospital in Glasgow – not the best way to remember Iona.