Iona Pilgrimage Walk

What do you see on the pilgrimage walk?

  • LIFE-PILGIMAGE-IONA-st martins

    ST MARTIN'S CROSS

     

    The pilgrimage starts on the road that has led to and from the Abbey for over eleven centuries. The cross, in whose shadow many thousands have stood, is named after St Martin of Tours who trained his followers to serve God in the world.

    LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-nunnery

    THE NUNNERY

     

    Little is known of the nuns who lived and worshipped here in the 13th century. History focuses on the men who lived at the Abbey. But women have also made big contributions to the life of the world and the Church. Here is a place where pilgrims can reflect on the need to rebalance contributions made by all people.

    LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-RESERVOIR

    THE RESERVOIR

     

    Water is essential to life. In the summer the reservoir sometimes runs dry. In many parts of the world, especially in many African and Asian countries, clean water is not available and has to be carried - sometimes for miles. The walk to the reservoir helps people think about how we use the world's resources.

  • LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-TABLE

    THE MARBLE QUARRY

     

    Some of the oldest rocks in the world are found on Iona. Marble has been quarried here since medieval times. The Communion Table in the Abbey is made from Iona Marble. The Quarry is a good place to think about creation and the way we live.

    LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-COLUMBAS

    COLUMBA’S BAY

     

    This is said to be the place where Columba and his monks first landed on Iona, on the day of Pentecost in 563. For Columba, it was the place where one journey ended and another began. Here is a place where people can think about their own endings and beginnings and about God's call for them.

    LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-MACHAIR

    THE MACHAIR

     

    This raised beach, made fertile by seaweed and shells washed in from the sea, is the island's common grazing land and also its golf course! Here pilgrims share food, swap stories, give thanks for each other - a place to rest along the way

  • LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-HERMIT

    HERMIT'S CELL

     

    In a quiet place on the island is a ring of stones. They are probably the remains of a hut where monks came from the Abbey Community to find God in silence and solitude. We all need moments of quiet to think and to listen. We visit the Hermit's Cell together on the pilgrimage, but it is also a good place to come on your own

    LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-DUN

    DUN I

     

    Dun I is the highest hill on Iona. On a clear day you can see the mainland from its summit, and also many Hebridean islands. Here is a place to think about the world beyond Iona - a world that we have to return to. It may be hard and dangerous - but its a world that belongs to God and in which God is always with us.

    LIFE-PILGRIMAGE-IONA-STORANS

    ST ORAN'S CHAPEL

     

    The pilgrimage ends in a graveyard - a reminder that for Christians life and death and resurrection are parts of each other. We remember that the Christian journey does not end in death, but in life beyond death.

  • The Pilgrimage walk on Iona is a way of exploring your own life's journey - and, as in all journeys, it has to be experienced to find out what it's all about. Often the Pilgrimage walk ends with a song by Sydney Carter, a prayer to God who calls us and accompanies us on our journeying -

    "You are older than the world can be You are younger than the life in me Ever old and ever new Keep me travelling along with you And it's from the old I travel to the new, Keep me travelling along with you."

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