Jump to main Content
St Columba Hotel
Seasonal Encounters with the Iona Community 2019

THROUGH DARKNESS TO DAWN - an Easter retreat led by writer and broadcaster the Rev. John L. Bell of the Iona Community.

Iona 17th-22nd April 2019

Paul Tillich, the German theologian claimed that there could be no experience of depth without a way into it. This retreat allows us to accompany Jesus on his way to the cross and beyond, through the dark valley rather than around it. We will follow a path of lament, grief and sorrow towards the events of Good Friday as a necessary prelude to the joy of Easter Day.

JOHN BELL is a Resource Worker with The Iona Community, who lectures, preaches and conducts seminars across the denominations. He is a hymn writer, author and occasional broadcaster, but retains a primary passion for congregational song. John is based in Glasgow and works with his colleagues in the areas of music, worship and spirituality.

18th-23rd October 2019

Ripening in Wisdom: Elder Poets as Sages for the Harvest of Life

Mark Burrows, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum

This retreat invites us to the "late poems" of selected contemporary poets, gifts of wisdom that with a depth and poignance that comes with the harvest years. Poets to be explored include Mary Oliver, W. S. Merwin, Denise Levertov, Stanley Kunitz, among others.

Mark S. Burrows is well-known and much in demand as a retreat leader in Europe, Australia, and the United States. A practicing poet and scholar of historical theology, with a keen interest in mysticism and poetics, he is an award-winning translator of modern German literature. A longtime resident of New England, he currently lives between Bochum, Germany, where he teaches theology and literature at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences, and Camden, Maine.


23rd-28th October 2019

Kicking Leaves and Kindling Fires

Jo Love, Wild Goose Resource Group

Catch some falling playfulness in poetry and pilgrimage. Coax some sparks in creative sessions exploring scriptural and seasonal stories. Relish some spacious days, opting in and out of an autumnal array of meaning making activities.

Jo Love… pedagogue, arts worker, critical questioner, inveterate journal keeper and articulator of incisive observations. Jo is an ordained Deacon of the Church of Scotland and a Member of the Iona Community. She worked for several years in urban parishes, with much involvement in youth and children’s work, faith exploration and enabling creativity in worship. She then qualified in primary teaching before being enticed from the classroom into her post with WGRG.

28th Oct- 2nd November 2019

Lighting the Dark, Darkening the Light: Exploring the Shadows of Art and Faith

Debbie Lewer, University of Glasgow

At the darkening time of the year, as the clocks go back and nights lengthen, join us to explore the play of light and shade in art and in faith. Artists know that light and darkness – what the Italians call ‘chiaroscuro’ – brings art to life. Great photographers, training the lens on all life, have long worked with the negative process, where dark creates light, and vice versa. This retreat will be an opportunity to engage with a vivid range of art, from the Middle Ages to the present, and to think in new ways about shadows and the light in a life of faith and in times of doubt.

Debbie Lewer is an art historian, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow and a regular speaker in churches, theological colleges and at festivals and retreats on the rich relationship between art and faith. She is passionate about making art history accessible to all.

© Copyright 2017 St Columba Hotel. All rights Reserved.