John Bell - Holy Week Preacher

We are delighted that John Bell from the Iona Community will be joining us for Holy Week

John Bell is a Resource Worker with The Iona Community, who lectures, preaches and conducts seminars across the denominations.  He is a hymn writer, author and occasional broadcaster, but retains a primary passion for congregational song.  John is based in Glasgow and works with his colleagues in the areas of music, worship and spirituality.

The Iona Community was founded in Glashow and Iona in 1938 by George MacLeod, minster, visionary and prophetic witness for peace, in the context of the poverty and despair of the Depression.  From a dockland parish in Govan, Glasgow, he took unemployed skilled craftsmen and young trainee clergy to the island of Iona to rebuild the monastic quarters of the medieval abbey and the common life by working and living together, sharing skills and effort as well as joys and achievement.  The original task became a sign of hopeful rebuilding and community in Scotland and beyond.  The experience shaped - and continues to shape - the practice and principles of the Iona Community.

John will be be leading our three-day retreat between Monday and Wednesday during Holy Week at the Cathedral, places for this retreat are no longer available but in addition to leading our retreat, John will also be speaking at the following services during Holy Week, to which everyone is welcome:

Palm Sunday

25 March                    3.00 pm           Choral Evensong

The Cathedral Choir sings the choral gem of the Book of Common Prayer on the day when we reflect upon the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem - on a donkey – and contemplate the coming days.


Maundy Thursday

29 March                    6.30 pm           Choral Eucharist followed by ‘The Watch’

A Commemoration of Jesus’ Last Supper, with the washing of feet and breaking of bread, followed by the stripping of the altars and silent prayer in our ‘garden of the watch’ in the retrochoir, until midnight.


Good Friday

30 March                    12 noon           The Three Hours:

Preaching of the Passion

                          A moving and thought-provoking service of readings, addresses and music on this, the darkest day; immediately followed by

1.30 pm            The Liturgy of Good Friday


Easter Day

1 April                         5.50 am           Dawn Vigil and Easter Liturgy

Through the last darkness of the night we hold vigil to hear of God’s saving history. As Easter day dawns, a bonfire is lit, and the cathedral is adorned by the brightness of candles as we celebrate with joy the risen Christ. This service is followed by breakfast.