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Church of Scotland
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Call to work on historical Christian island

by Tola Mbakwe

Iona Abbey on Iona in the Inner Hebrides is looking for someone to help them welcome an influx of tourists this summer.

Jane Martin, manages the remote site, located on an island first used as a place of worship in the sixth century.

She told Premier the history of the island is what makes it a special and a great catch.

She said: "I think we have the long history.  Columba arrived here in the sixth century and last week, we had research published... that proved that there was a structure during Columba's lifetime...It's quite and exciting history.

"We've got the Vikings, we've got rebuilding, we've got European orders and The Reformation so there's kind of an ebb and flow to the island."

Although the island may be an attraction for history and church buffs, Martin said people should take other things into consideration if they're thinking of applying.

She told Premier: "It would certainly suit somebody who enjoys talking to people because people ask you about the area, if you're a keen walker or a bird watcher, you'll find those skills being put to use as well. It's very much about being happy being around people."

While the island only has a population of less than 200 people, Martin said a job candidate shouldn't expect the island to be very quiet. Iona sees around 65,000 tourists a year and the bulk of those people visit during the summer months.

Martin said: "It's not a quiet, seeing a few people a day sort of a job.

"It's pretty bustily at times; you have cruise shops that come ashore. The ferry takes 250 people on a run, so it perhaps not a quiet island that some people may think about.

"I think most people would enjoy the job, so hopefully we'll get some applicants.

"When I first came to Iona for a summer job, 25 years later I'm still on the island. I think islands are a bit like that, you just come to visit and you keep coming back."

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