The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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July 2019


Margaret Willmer

Literary Hour: 17th July 2019

1.00 pm in the Church

A small island off the west end of the Island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides has been a place of pilgrimage for more than a millennium.  Iona has a presence; I believe most people come away with a sense of having visited somewhere very special even if religion does not play a part in their lives. 

I’m not sure that the island is particularly beautiful, but it has some staggeringly beautiful beaches and other places.  It has an Abbey rebuilt over many years and a nunnery not rebuilt but with a well maintained garden which is a peaceful place to rest awhile and contemplate.  Marble was quarried there, it has a spouting cave, a beach called The Bay at the Back of the Ocean and much more.  Writers, poets and painters have all contributed to the rich heritage of St Columba’s Island.  Possibly its greatest product is the Book of Kells believed to have been written there but taken to Ireland for safekeeping.

Do come and hear some of the writing from and about Iona.  Bring your sandwiches and we will give you tea or coffee.  The Literary Hours are free but there is a retiring collection for the Fabric Fund.

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