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Iona Community in £500k Appeal

Monday July 2 2018

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

The Community welcomes around 1500 guests each year to its centre, 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 some urgent repairs and long-term major investment, they would be unfit for purpose within seven years.

The Rev Kathy Galloway, joint leader of the Community, said: “The Iona Community wants to continue to welcome people to share life in community for generations to come, and to make sure we are accessible for all.

“This complex, exciting project will ensure people from around the world can continue to share in the community’s life within the historic setting and beauty of Iona. We have completed phase one of the works, and now we need help to fully fund phase two.

“The abbey accommodation is the vehicle that enables people of all walks of life to engage with the community on Iona. It provides the unique opportunity to both challenge and inspire thousands of people each year into becoming change makers within their own communities.

“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.

“Thanks to the generosity of our members, who raised £300,000 in the month of May alone, we are now in the position where we might be able to begin phase 2 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.

“We are hopeful that people in Scotland and beyond will recognise the great need to safeguard Iona Abbey as a living place of hospitality, and ensure that thousands more people can visit this special place seeking sanctuary and inspiration.”

The Iona Abbey capital project will deliver improved access, new bedrooms and fully accessible shower rooms and toilets, improved insulation and washing facilities.

The Iona Community will also work in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Iona Renewables on a renewable energy heating system, through a progressive, community-led energy project. The public will also have access to current ‘private’ spaces in the Abbey.

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


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