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‘Two ferries and a fair bit of walking’

For centuries pilgrims have travelled to the isle of Iona in search of the sacred, inspired by the example of St Columba, a sixth-century Irish monk who founded a monastery there, and whose influence is felt to the present day. Many modern-day pilgrims and seekers are also drawn to the island.
This book is a rich collection of readings, prayers, poems, photographs, songs, stories and reflections. Island visitors and armchair pilgrims alike are invited to take a prayerful, perhaps life-changing, journey around what George MacLeod, the Founder of the Iona Community, described as a “thin place”, where only a tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual.

Extract from Around a Thin Place
By Jane Bentley and Neil Paynter
Published by Wild Goose Publications

To Get to Iona
By Ruth Burgess

To get to Iona
it takes me
the Underground
three trains
a coach
two ferries
and a fair bit of walking.

To get to Iona
it takes me
sandwiches
coffee
sweets
a bottle of water
and sometimes
on the boat
an egg-and-bacon butty.

To get to Iona
it takes me
timetables
The Guardian quick crossword
a book
a pen and some paper
and whatever magazines
people leave behind them
on the trains.

To get to Iona
it takes me
smiles
conversations
laughter
listening
memories
and often tears.

To get to Iona
it takes me
risks
prayers
work
wonder
minutes and days
and the passing of years.

That’s what it takes me
to get to Iona.

What will it take you?

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