Our site needs cookies

We need cookies to help you sign in, create a fundraising page and donate. If you want to fundraise or donate on our site, you will need to turn on cookies How to turn on cookies.

It looks like you are trying to access a charity account.

Please click here for the charity sign in page. If you are not trying to access a charity account, please contact us.


Bob Thomas

Bob's Columba Walk

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b]Bob's Columba Walk[/b] has been completed! I walked the 75 miles between St Columba Church Fareham and St Columba Church of Scotland in central London to raise money for the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal to improve the inclusive nature of the hospitality offered there. I am a Member of the Iona Community and my walking companion Chris Merrien is an Iona Community Associate. The good people of St Columba Church Fareham gave us a send-off at their morning service on Sunday 3 June and we were welcomed by the lovely folk at St Columba's, London at their St Columba Day service at 11.00 on 10th June. We walked almost exclusively on footpaths, following the Meon Valley Railway Path, the St Swithun's and North Downs Ways, The Wey Navigation and Thames Paths, through Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common, finally crossing Putney Bridge into London. There were significant and stimulating encounters along the way with interesting and generous people as well as opportunities for conversation and reflection. We attended Evensong at Guildford Cathedral and stayed for two nights at St Columba's Retreat House in Woking. [/p][p][b]Some words from the Patron of the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal:[/b][/p][p][i] "As Patron of the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal I am delighted by the Iona Community's campaign to renovate the monastic buildings at the Abbey because I recognise the unique nature of this heritage site which offers hospitality as was originally intended. The distinctive pattern of community life at Iona Abbey is fundamental to the spiritual and economic well-being of the island and the impact reaches far beyond Iona. This initiative will enable the Iona Community to extend an inclusive welcome to people from all walks of life and build on its commitment to issues of poverty, peace and social justice. It deserves our support." [/i][b]HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal.[/b][/p][p]As a Member of the Iona Community I am planning to walk the 75 miles between St Columba Church Fareham and St Columba Church of Scotland in central London. I'll be leaving Fareham after morning service on 3rd June, arriving for the St Columba Day service in London at 11.00 on 10th June. [/p][p][b]The Iona Abbey Capital Appeal[/b][/p][p]The Christian faith was first brought to most parts of what is now Great Britain by an Irish monk called Columcille who established a monastery and centre for mission on the remote island of Iona in the year 563. Now known as St Columba, he and his monks took the Christian message across Scotland, far down into England and across a large swathe of northern Europe. After Columba’s death in 597 Iona remained a centre of mission and became a place of pilgrimage and hospitality. In the 13th century Columba’s wooden buildings were replaced by a stone Abbey which fell into ruins after the Reformation. In 1938 the Rev George MacLeod, First World War army officer turned Church of Scotland minister, took a group of trainee ministers and unemployed craftsmen from Glasgow to Iona to rebuild the Abbey, forming the basis for the Iona Community. Since then thousands of visitors from around the world have experienced Christian hospitality and a time of refreshment in the ‘thin place’ that is Iona.[b] [/b][/p][p]Now in the 21st century the Abbey is in urgent need of updating. Generations have been touched by the varied and vital work of the Iona Community – work we want to ensure continues as reality not history. This is especially true of our presence in the Abbey on Iona. Issues about the building’s accessibility, flexibility and sustainability must be addressed in the next five years if the Abbey is to continue to fulfil its original purpose. In partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, we will ensure that active use of this iconic building is safeguarded for the future.[/p][p]The key areas of work required to welcome people of all physical abilities are:[/p][p]• new level access and doors.[/p][p]• installation of a lift to the first floor accommodation.[/p][p]• reconfiguration of the refectory to create an inviting and accessible communal space.[/p][p]• improved kitchen and servery facilities.[/p][p]• provision of new toilets and showers.[/p][p]• reconfiguration of bedrooms for single or twin occupancy.[/p][p]• enhanced lighting and design in corridors to aid access and mobility.[/p][p]• improved insulation and installation of a new heating system.[/p][p]These improvements will enable the Iona Community to provide facilities which match our hospitality. They will also enable us to extend the guest season, to welcome more people and to improve financial sustainability across the organisation.[/p][p][b] For more detail about the Abbey Capital Appeal go to:[/b][/p][p][b]https://iona.org.uk/capital-appeal-information/[/b][/p]

Share Bob's story

Other ways to support Bob's fundraising effort

Turn your unwanted stuff into donations

together withziffit.com logo

Earn free donations when you shop

together withkindred logo


Personal Challenge Date

31 Dec 2018


Oct 24, 2018



Aug 22, 2018


Well done Bob.

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Jul 23, 2018

Geoffrey from Pilgrim home group

Good luck on your journey

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Jun 25, 2018

Jean Oliver

Well done Bob!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jun 24, 2018

Kate TUcker

Dear Bob, well done on your walk. Hope you've reached way more than your GBP5,000 total. Best wishes, Kate and Mark Tucker

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jun 21, 2018

Rick and Liz

Sorry Bob - we seem to have missed this. Well done on achieving the walk, it must have been tough

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Jun 19, 2018

Sue and Dave

Gosh - well done!


Jun 19, 2018

Deanne and Ian


Jun 17, 2018

Helen P


Jun 16, 2018