Iona is a place of paradoxes. A destination of beauty and pilgrimage for many, it is also a place of change and challenging experience. Jan Sutch Pickard, Iona Abbey Warden at the time of writing this book, attempts to convey this complexity through her new collection of poems, readings and reflections which capture not only the wildness and beauty of Iona but also the pressures and gifts of living in a community on an island of pilgrimage.
All the poems and biblical reflections in this book come ‘out of Iona’: they were written, inspired or developed there, some for use in the daily services in Iona Abbey. However, Iona is not only a welcoming place; it is and always has been a sending place. Therefore, the final three sequences take us ‘out of Iona’, back into a wider world where prayer and politics belong together as much as they do on that remote Hebridean island, although our engagement with them may take different forms. This is just as much part of our pilgrimage. We leave the island but continue on our journey, in the world, and with God.