Current Issues 1: Government/governance in the Iona Community?

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This section consists of the text of correspondence with Kathy Galloway, Leader of The Iona Community which took place in 2002/3. It addresses the source of direction of The Iona Community, and brings into the Light but one example of the attempted fusion of the religion of politics; and the politics of religion. A vivid example of this marriage appears in the articles written by Wendy Alexander M.S.P. around August 2002 in Coracle, the magazine of The Iona Community. Irrespective of future changes in the leadership of the Community the issues remain current until resolved by The Holy Spirit.

The message of the entire Wind of Change website is not a claim to infallability, rather it is no claim whatsoever — it is Witness.




Text of personal Witness to Kathy Galloway dated 2th August 2002

Kathy Galloway
Leader of The Iona Community.


The Apostasy of Spirit or The Spirit of Apostasy?

The accompanying Muse entitled "Spirituality" comes to you as a result of your "Leader to Leader" interview in the current issue of Coracle.

The content of this letter is neither judgemental, or critical, rather it is Witness. As such it does not seek or require acceptance. It is not a claim to infallability, rather it is no claim whatsoever. The author of the Muse is also that of this letter.

Firstly some questions. Did the apostle Paul determine his own Damascus experience and hence his subsequent ministry? Did George MacLeod decide of his own vision and will to rebuild Iona Abbey? In other words which (or is it Who?) is the greater -- the will of humankind or the Will of God?

You state in the interview "We all have a spirituality, an inner life, but the nature of that spirituality is shaped by what our hope is, our ultimate concern if you like — and the spirituality will orient in that direction." Such a mindset however well meant and in good faith is to place the individual intellect and ego which give rise to human will, before and above the Will of God. I note also that you spell Spirituality with a small "s". Would we spell the word God with a small "g"? What, or again is it Who is Holy Spirit? Is this different from spirit spelled with a small "s"? Should it be? Need it be?

The crucial significance of this apostasy for the Iona Community is that it is a continuation of the lie contained within the phrase "rediscovery of Spirituality" which is the false witness placed before the Community for several years. The veiled implication therein is that the human being can apprehend Being as Holy Spirit by an act of will individual or collective, again no matter how pious or well intentioned. This is to say that the human will can summon Cosmos. The logic of the phrase is that I /we will (to) rediscover Spirituality. The fact that the pronoun "I" precedes the word Spirituality says it all!

You state that you would look for "an integrated approach to life" rather than an integrated approach to Spirituality. Is not The Holy Spirit embued in, as, and for all Life as The All in All? Your logic wittingly or otherwise states that life or is it Life is divorced from Holy Spirit.

What then of Iona Community prayers seeking not direction, but guideance for an integrated Witness to society through action? No matter how apparently genuine or well meant, if the heart within is saying "me" first then spirit, Holy or otherwise how are we to recognise the answer to the prayer using the "I" of the well intentioned intellect and human will? Integration is not me (or you) first, it is US together as Unity, Who is Cosmos.

We necessarily struggle against the barriers of Faslane to good effect. Where is the counter-balance in the recognition and preparation for the peace for which we struggle? Where is the active preparation for justice not only for humanity, but for Mother Earth as an integrated system? To focus mainly or solely on the "battle for peace" in the absence of active involvement in a Witness not for, but AS Peace is like a child who would break a toy in two only to find that half a toy just doesn't work for anybody.

The letter continues overleaf in the form of Muse. The origins of this term are relevant. Thank you for reading — what exactly?

Homo Spiritus
(The Heavenly Marriage)*

To be married to the present
Is to be divorced in and from the future.

To be divorced from The Holy Spirit
Is to be married to the self.

To be married to the self,
Is ultimately to die. **

*Also The Song of Songs, and the union of Shakti and Shiva.
** This does not refer to or describe physical death.


The thrust of the Cosmic breath within my soul
The ache of a heart a' breaking — still.
The Dream of Olwen smiling down
The Love that lost and ONE to Me.

This My Heart, My All I give —
I lose, I live, in Thee!
So now deep Presence, still, within —
Call soft, call long, call silent still,
And turn the hearts of men within
To where and how Thou art.

Still the waters, quiet the soul
And thus let the ghost of Spirituality —
Merge with kith and kin, with heart and soul,
Down trodden, but not forgot!

My Divine mystery I now impart
But not to mind,or heart, or soul —
Only to the listening still —
The Spirit deep — within,
The Heavenly Star on high.

Who am I? Why can't you guess —
The Cosmos; nothing less!
Thus you will nver know my name
Lest you but hear my call
On summer's day and winter's thrall.
No definition of the intellect am I
I AM — the experience of The Heart —

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Text of second personal Witness to Kathy Galloway dated 27th February 2003


The Governance of Scotland

I write as an Associate Member of The Iona Community. Not so much to make a suggestion as the recommendation that The Iona Community host a half day community# experience having the same title as this letter. This to be held in Stirling Castle as an earnest of similar meetings throughout the Nation.


To which the response is — why not? We have seen the will as distinct from the power of the people demonstrated in recent weeks in relation to our (?) intended war with Iraq. The issue world wide is now the choice between Governance or government. The former is stewardship of individual Nations, and hence the planet. The latter is the mechanism of the State and hence ultimately of the interests of global business. The planet is not a business, it is The Lord's parish of Whom He is Creator and Steward.

This being so, what form of governance should / will The Iona Community represent? That is to say, Witness before the Nation? We need look no further than The Bible not only for the answer, but for the entire history of the Governance of the planet of four Kingdoms. In what way do the remaining secular monarchies of the world Witness to The Monarchy of The Christ?

No one knew the strength of conviction of the people regarding the intended war with Iraq until the day of global demonstration not against war, but in support of peace.

Similarly, with the cry for the Governance of Scotia. This is to declare and work towards Peace as distinct from a continuation of the "battle* for peace" at the gates of Faslane albeit necessary and productive. Such Witness will win the battle, but not the war. Amen.+

Monarchy, being Divine Stewardship, the agenda, process and outcome of the recommended assembly are already in place, all we need do in Christ's Name and therefore in The Gift of Grace alone, is assemble! Some may say that the very title of such an assembly is politically incorrect as it implies independence and therefore exclusion. The implication here is that Christ's discernment as distinct from discrimination in choosing The Children of Israel was and still is politically incorrect. It is to be remembered that the purpose of such discernment was and still is the redemption of all such Nations as choose The Christ as King. Amen.

We all know the saying "win some, lose some". There is a less well known saying "those who lose heart, lose all". What is happening to the Heart of Scotia under the "reign of government"? The price of Peace has already been met. The cost of Spiritual sloth — is war! Amen.

The sin is in not Witnessing when felt called to do so, either as an individual or as community. Amen.

+Amen, throughout meaning — The Lord's Will be.
# The broader community, being John and Jane The Common-weill, but inclusive of those who perceive themselves to be otherwise.
* Only The Christ within chooses His or Her own ground. Thus and only thus is there no enemy, and therefore no battle. Amen.

Circulation list (alphabetical order)
Wendy Alexander. -- Not as an M.S.P., rather as a private individual.
William Jamieson, Executive Editor, The Scotsman.
Angus Mackay. M.S.P. Edinburgh South
Roderick and Elizabeth MacLeod, a retired Church of Scotland minister and his wife.
Iain MacGregor, a journalist to trade and freelance preacher
Andrew Prentice, management consultant, friend of the writer.
Rie Stevenson, Elder in The Church of Scotland, Canongate Kirk. Edinburgh
Alan and Maire-Colette Wilkie. Full members of The Iona Community

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Text of third personal Witness to Kathy Galloway


In the Name of The Christ and therefore in the Gift of Grace alone —

"Let the people decide"

The foregoing imperative completes the sentence and Blessing of the title of this Witness, that is "Government or Governance within The Iona Community" Amen. +

None of what follows is judgemental, it is a statement of fact.

On 25/8/02 you were sent a personal Witness entitled "The Apostasy of Spirit or the Spirit of Apostasy?" following your interview in Coracle relating to your appointment as leader of The Iona Community. The author of the Witness was referred to in the second paragraph. The vessel of the Witness has since been made known to you. Your response has been silence regarding this Witness and in relation to the Witness dated 27/2/03 entitled "The Governance of Scotland". Silence is a most profound response in the Realm of Spirit. There are several reasons for this. For the moment let them be summarised as an absence of courtesy. Amen.

Such a response is however -- unacceptable.

Wendy Alexander also chose silence as her response to a second recent Witness arising from her two articles in Coracle. Wendy's silence confirmed the absence of an acceptable locus for her two secular pieces. A copy of this Witness was sent to you.

In conclusion it is confirmed that The Silence of The Lamb reigneth overall. Amen.

+ Amen throughout having the meaning — God's Will Be.

1. 1997 General Election Communication
2. The Witness "The Apostasy of Spirit or The Spirit of Apostasy?"

Circulation (alphabetical order)
1.Wendy Alexander (MSP) as an individual.
2.William Jamieson, Executive Editor, The Scotsman.
3. Laura Mathers, widow of Kenneth Mathers, Minister of Iona Abbey in George MacLeod's time.
4. Iain MacGregor, Editor of "The Scottish Patriot" broadsheet.
5. Angus MacKay, M.S.P. for Edinburgh South.
6. Roderick MacLeod a retired minister and his wife Elizabeth.
7. Andrew Prentice, management consultant.
8. Rie Stevenson, Elder in Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh.
9. Alan & Maire Wilkie, full members of The Iona Community.

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Kathy's reply and response

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your various letters. It is true I have not replied to them. I felt there was nothing useful I could say in response. I am not at all sure that I even understood what you wrote. Nevertheless, for any discourtesy you experienced, I apologise.

Having said that, I wish to make it quite clear that your letter to Wendy Alexander I consider to be quite insupportable. It is none of your business to lecture her on how, and under what title she writes. She did exactly what was requested of her by the editor of Coracle, who has the full confidence of the Community in who she invites to write and how. That was to write from the perspective of a serving politician, and one moreover who has had a lifelong connection with the Iona Community. Of course you are free to disagree with her article, but I hope she had the sense to ignore your presumptuous instructions to her. The Community since George MacLeod's time has a long tradition of inviting party politicians of all parties to write for its publications, take part in its conferences and engage in the dialogue which it has always had with public and political life. We do not, as George MacLeod did not, make false distinctions between the spiritual and the secular - the secular is the locus for the operation of the spiritual.

As to your suggestions for the Governance of Scotia, we prefer to continue with our working in partnership through the many existing organisations which are concerned with these issues, and continue our witness for peace at the gates of Faslane, which things are the collective decisions and priorities of The Iona Community at present.

I consider this correspondence now to be closed.

Yours sincerely,

(Rev) Kathy Galloway
Leader of The Iona Community
cc. Ruth Harvey

The Wind of Change response; and summary observation made on this web site:-

Thank you for your recent letter. God Bless.


  • It is instructive to note that in her reply Kathy spells the name of one of The Blessings of The Trinity, namely The Holy Spirit; with a small "s".
  • Kathy's statement "the secular is the locus of the operation of the spiritual" is true — in part. The definitive statement is:-

The Spiritual is the locus not for, rather AS the Blessing of the temporal.

A message to all Members and Associate Members of the Iona Community, dated 11th March 2003


The Governance of Scotia

In Christ's Name, and therefore in The Gift of Grace alone as individuals we each have a responsibility for stewardship of The Iona Community. Amen +

We also have a duty to uphold Christ's Name and therefore His Will within the Community as Witness; as we are called. Amen.

This email originates in The Heart whatever this may mean to each of us. Community is common unity or is it Unity? Is The Iona Community as a mirror of The Nation of Scotia, a spiritual community or a Spiritual Community? In these times need we be either?

Governance is The Lord's Stewardship of planet Earth. Government is the mechanism of the State and hence ultimately of global business. The planet is not a business — it is The Lord's Parish of four Kingdoms of Whom He is Creator and Steward. Amen.

The Scottish Executive's Web site "One Scotland" ( attempts to create community by temporal means. Whilst this is laudable it is to no avail. The Iona Community is the Spiritual Blessing of Scotia as the embryo of Common Unity in these times of global peril, politically and hence environmentally.

Common Unity is the Sovereignty of the people as The Christ within us all as so choose. Hence the first two paragraphs of this letter of Witness. To this end, or is it a beginning, please read three letters of Witness sent to our Leader Kathy Galloway in recent months. This Witness can be read on the Web site of The Wind of Change in the "Inspirations" page. The entire site is Witness to Community Unity in the twenty first century. Amen. Letters of Witness to Wendy Alexander M.S.P. also appear in this page of the Web site following Wendy's secular articles in Coracle. They discuss her locus for such articles.

This Web site bears Witness to the damage being done to the Nation of Scotia by the attempted fusion of the religion of politics and the politics of religion. The full text of a related Green Paper entitled "Sustainable Development or Sustainable Life? - Let the Child Speak" can be read on this site. This Paper speaks of the fusion of The Christ not with; rather as the people, not in "solidarity", but as Unity. Amen.

The Wind of Change is a community building catalyst. The descriptive material on the Web site is an earnest of Common Unity. Amen.

Thank you for reading this Witness. Amen.

Ian McLean

+ Amen throughout having the meaning — God's Will Be.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


An Exposition of the base spiriituality of The Sculpture entitled "The Descent of The Holy Spirit" located in the cloisters of Iona Abbey.

Please reduce the magnification of the documents displayed. This is done by placing the cursor in the bottom of the frame and selecting the "minus" or "plus" symbol displayed therein. Thank you.

Please click on the three documents in turn.

1. A reference only article held by the Abbey shop describing the sculpture and its provanence entitled "A Touch of Hastings in The Hebrides"

2. The first part of an alphabetic key giving an exposition of the base spriituality of this symbol items A to H (PDF file of newsprint.)

3. The second part of No2 above being the last two letter keys I and J.

4. Letter to The Leader of The Iona Community dated 23/08/2013

5. Letter to Iona Community Council dated 15/08/2013




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