Oran-na-Mara (Song of the Sea) – shown in the photograph below – is a house on the coast of Bunessan Bay, on the Isle of Mull. Although not on the main road (which is itself a single-lane road), the house is only 5 miles away from the Isle of Iona.
Buying Oran-na-Mara will allow us to move to the island and finally restart Orthodox monastic life in the Isles. It will also take away the pressure concerning building at Kilninian – although a monastic community on the historical site of the ancient Celtic monastery remains our priority and spiritual duty to the Celtic Saints, we can now achieve this aim in time, as we slowly raise the necessary funds.
Our current URGENT need is to cover the cost of this purchase. To help us, please follow these links:
US DONATIONS (US cheque Donations are tax-deductible)
UK DONATIONS (UK Donations can also be Gift Aided)
Oran-na-Mara is large enough to function as a temporary monastic house for the first few years, until we obtain all the funds and building permits we need to build in the national heritage area at Kilninian. We do not want to hurry. Kilninian is a treasure, and we want to make sure that the new building not only safeguards the future of this treasure, but also enhances its cultural and historical value. We have already invested large amounts in repairing and restoring Kilninian, so it may be preserved for the next generation. It is only natural to do our absolute best to also ensure that the new building fits perfectly with the local architectural heritage. That takes time and money, and having Oran-na-Mara takes both those pressures away. In time, God will provide both the donors and the best possible building plan.
When that happens and the community eventually moves to Kilninian, Oran-na-Mara is perfectly positioned to be turned into a pan-Orthodox Pilgrimage Centre to the Celtic Isles of Scotland. Its closeness to St Columba’s Isle of Iona, the easy connection through Fionnphort to St Kenneth’s Isle, Staffa (with the famous Fingal’s Cave), Lunga (or the birds’ island, as we call it because of the puffin colonies that populate it during the summer) and its excellent location on Mull itself (close to the amazing Nuns’ Cave, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Western Coast) – all of these would turn Oran-na-Mara is a wonderful and unique ‘Orthodox gate’ to the Hebrides.
All is in God’s hands. His blessing and your generosity have made taken us this far. His blessing and your generosity will take us further, until this dream becomes a reality through the prayer of All the Celtic Saints.
If you have read so far, please consider making a donation by following the links above. We know that your donation represents more than just money. It is your sacrifice – of time, hard work and love – for God, for this monastery and the wonderful Saints the Hebrides have given us. May God bless you for your love.
A Monastery is not a single man’s creation. A Monastery is founded on the love and sacrifice of countless people – people who have never met and may never know each other, but who are forever remembered together in the prayers of that monastery. Poor and wealthy, healthy and sick, virtuous and sinful: people who would never otherwise interact with each other create together this miracle: a place of prayer, a place through which love and hope is poured into the world.
A long time ago, you could have helped by coming over and giving a hand at the actual process of building the monastic cells, repairing the roof, cleaning the ground, digging the septic tank or the water system, by cooking or washing and so on. Today though, most of us are professionals, working in offices and only being able to help by making a donation. But that is just as good: we know (and God definitely knows it!) that your donation, your money doesn’t just fall from the sky. That donation comes from hard-work, long hours in your office, patience, sacrifice and, above all, love.
When you make a donation, you donate more than just money, you give us and this monastery the fruit of all those long hours of work, you sacrifice to God and to this monastery that part of your time (that part of your life) which you spent working in order to make that money. And for that sacrifice, we thank you. For that sacrifice, we pray that God blesses you and all those you carry in your heart. May He repay you when you need it most.