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A note from Wild Goose

Iona sunrise picture


This week we have more new resources for the Lent and Easter period. There are three new downloads below – one for Shrove Tuesday and two for Ash Wednesday. More coming soon!

There's also a reminder about a book you may have missed the first time around.

Photo: The Spouting Cave, on Iona's west coast.


New downloads


All-Age Service for
Shrove Tuesday

Making and sharing pancakes

(PDF download)

Sally Foster-Fulton and Ruth Burgess

Digital download: A fun service for all that involves making pancakes (and eating them afterwards) and thinking about the journey of Lent that we are about to set out on. 5 pages.

For more information and to see an extract


Ash Wednesday download transspaser

Ash Wednesday

Imposition of ashes and Communion

(PDF download)

Thom M Shuman

Digital download: A service for beginning the Lenten journey, to bring our brokenness and hopelessness and place them on the Table of grace. Includes optional marking with ashes. 11 pages.

For more information and to see an extract


Doorway to the Desert download transspaser

Doorway to the Desert

A liturgy for Ash Wednesday

(PDF download)

Sally Foster-Fulton and Ruth Burgess

Digital download: A preparation for the period of reflection and prayer that is Lent; a call to come back to God and to come back to the earth and wonder at the gift of our lives together. Includes visiting three 'stations' and marking of the palm of the hand with ashes. 7 pages.

For more information and to see an extract



One that got away

Stories for Holy Week download transspaser

Down to Earth

Stories and sketches

Neil Paynter

A hard-to-define book but one that is a gem, full of lyrical, heartfelt accounts of Neil's experiences of working with the homeless, the aged, the mentally ill, the lost. The stories can be used in personal meditation, group reflection and church worship, just as some of them have been in services in Iona Abbey. You can listen to him reading four of the stories if you follow the link below to our website.

For more information, to see sample pages and to listen to the author reading some of the stories

Or read some extracts from the Introduction, below:

When I left university I had no idea what to do with my life … For about fifteen years I worked as nurse’s aide, as a companion aide, as a ‘counsellor’ in post-psychiatric ‘rest’ homes, and as a worker in shelters for homeless men.

I think I chose to be around people who were ‘broken’ because I felt broken myself … One thing I quickly discovered was that many of the people who are labelled as ‘disabled’ have great gifts and wisdom …

I did this work because I wanted, in my small way, to help build a world where people mattered – the Kingdom. I saw the world – and still see the world – as a place where you don’t matter unless you have money and property. Capitalism is a system that throws not only things but people away. In capitalism, if you don’t ‘work’, if you are ‘faulty’, you are thrown on the garbage heap. In one post-psychiatric rest home I volunteered in, three people shared each tiny room. Recreation was bingo in a square, low-ceilinged basement: it felt like they were stuffing us all into a box … Conditions were filthy all over: mice lived in bathtubs and disappeared down hairy drains; disturbed people were straitjacketed with heavy drugs. … I don’t want to romanticise people, but so many of the folk I met in my work, so many of the discarded people, were to me the most prophetic and Christ-like. It was a privilege to know them.

I wanted to live in a world where heart matters, not money. Where richness is measured in stories. Where people are valued for their life experience. That was naive, I guess. … Who knows where it will end? Maybe we’ll all be thrown into a basement somewhere. All of us poetic, useless ones. Well, I won’t go without a fight …

I hope you like these stories. Human beings are infinite. We rarely get close to the core of even people we think we know well – partners, family, friends. We understand each other in glimpses; ourselves in glimpses. People are so complex and mysterious and so frustratingly wonderful … The best we can do is help one another. Have patience. Not expect too much, or anything. Not get disillusioned. That’s hard to do …

Neil Paynter

Go to main book description page



Books and downloads for Lent and Easter

See all Lent & Easter books

See all Lent & Easter e-books

See all Lent & Easter downloads



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Wild Goose Publications is the publishing division of The Iona Community, a charity registered in Scotland. Charity number: SC003794.