Iona service celebrates 1450 years since arrival of Columba

(Photo: Oliver Bonjoch)
Iona Abbey is still regarded as a centre of Christianity and spirituality 1450 years after the arrival of Columba

An ecumenical service took place on Iona on Sunday as part of celebrations marking 1450 years since the arrival of Columba on the tiny Scottish island.

Iona is regarded as the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. It was where Columba, an Irish monk, arrived in 563AD to bring the Gospel. A monastic community was established, which flourished as a centre for Christian learning and played a major role in spreading Christianity throughout Scotland.

Centuries later, Christians from around the world continue to visit Iona to deepen their faith and grow in relationship with God.

The celebratory service was joined by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Reverend Lorna Hood.

"I was delighted to be involved in the celebrations which were deeply humbling and moving for me. Without the work of Columba who knows where our faith and belief would be today," she said.

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"Iona is still so relevant to us all and especially the Iona community who continue to live out the Christian message of hope. Without hope we have nothing and it is a central tenant of our faith."

The 1450 celebrations coincide with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Iona Community, an ecumenical community promoting peace and justice from a Christian perspective.

As part of celebrations, Historic Scotland has invested around £1million in improvements to the visitor experience at Iona Abbey, including new permanent exhibitions and a museum containing rare early Christian sculptures from Britain and Ireland.  The centrepiece of the museum will be the reassembled St Oran's and St Matthew's High Crosses.

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