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A Sermon in Stone (clip 2)

The restoration of Iona Abbey

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Content advisory: This clip contains archive footage of people living in extreme povery; refugees in South East Asia shown in ill health; starving people (including children) in Africa; people begging in India; starving people fighting for food handouts; montage of nuclear bomb testing.

1960s documentary on the origins of the Iona Community in Glasgow in the 1930s and the restoration of Iona Abbey. The film commences bemoans the secular nature of society in the 1930s and argues for the need to bring humanity and spiritualism back to society. Features a sound clip from Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech.

Questions & Activities


  • What has changed since 1966?
  • How do people protest against war? What can you do?
  • Have you ever been involved in a protest? What do people do to become involved? What protest groups do you know?
  • Who was the politician speaking at the beginning of the film?
  • Why is there such a level of poverty in the developing world and what economic systems perpetuate it?
  • Why have they chosen to put this second clip of the film in black and white as opposed to colour. How have they used archive footage?
  • What message are they portraying and is it successful?


Would the combined defence budgets of the world be able to feed it? Compare the desires of this film to Make Poverty History.

Are Christian principles the answer?

Debate different ideologies and how their solutions for world poverty.

Look at the choice of shots and the use of music. How does the film successfully convey its message?

Research what people mean by 'poverty'. We are concerned with poverty in Scotland -€“ have things improved? Have things improved in the third world?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-069-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of the Iona Community / National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0473
Date 1966
Genre Documentary
School Subject Religious and Moral Education, Economics, Modern Studies
Subject Matter International Education, Citizenship
Who Lord Macleod of Fuinary (narrator), The Iona Community (sponsor/producer)
Where Iona
Event Construction, Building
Attributes Black and White, Colour, Sound
Clip Length 2:53
Film Length 34:13