EVENT: Training Day for Catholics in health and care sector

Explore the unique contribution that faith makes to the health and care sector at Catholics in Health and Social Care: Ethics and Practice.

It is a training day for those who are interested in learning about the ethical challenges of work in this sector looking and an opportunity to meet people motivated by their faith to care for others.

It takes place at The Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, on Saturday 19 March from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Register here.

The event features:

Speakers will lead discussions on assisted suicide, hope-filled accompaniment for those who are dying, conscientious objection and arising policy challenges.

It is one of three training days organised by St Mary’s University, The Anscombe Bioethics Centre and the Bios Centre.

The event will also discuss the appropriate Christian response to a wide range of challenges affecting practice in health and social care.

Although a Catholic ethical approach will be taken in most sessions, the events will be helpful for any Christian or, indeed, anybody who is concerned about the ethical challenges for practitioners that are developing in the health and social care sector.

Catholics in Health and Social Care: Ethics and Practice takes place on Saturday 19 March from 9:30am to 3:30pm at The Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh. The event costs £20 and you can register here. For more information please contact marianne.rozario@stmarys.ac.uk

Scottish church leaders respond to foreign policy and defence review

Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President of the Commission for Justice and Peace Scotland, has joined seven other Scottish church leaders in signing a statement responding to the UK Government’s integrated review of foreign and defence policies.

The review, discussed in the UK Parliament on Tuesday, proposed removing the cap on the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled, allowing for an increase of up to 40%.

The statement

The UK Government’s decision to increase the number of Trident nuclear warheads the UK can stockpile by more than 40% is a deeply worrying development.

The move, part of the integrated review of defence, security and foreign policy, is a retrograde step which threatens the common good and reverses nearly 30 years of gradual disarmament.

The decision is a contravention of the UK’s obligations under the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty and undermines the international rules-based order. It ignores the growing global movement in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which calls for ‘the irreversible, verifiable and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons’.

For many years, Scottish churches have agreed that the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons is immoral and their very possession should be condemned in a world that needs peace.

The financial cost of a larger nuclear arsenal cannot be justified in the face of the UK’s high rates of poverty and deprivation, and the challenges of the climate emergency and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK must take its responsibilities and Treaty obligations seriously, strive for global nuclear disarmament, and work towards peaceful and cooperative international relationships.


This article first appeared on the website of the Catholic Parliamentary Office.

Christians come together to help the homeless

Catholic volunteers are stepping up to help the homeless this Christmas along with other Christian churches.

They are part of catering teams doing shifts at the Bethany Christian Trust project in Gorgie Road, Edinburgh.

The winter care shelter runs for 32 weeks until 3 May. Last year it welcomed 746 homeless people.

In August, Rab Burnett (below), a parishioner at the Ss Ninian and Triduana church in the city, called on fellow Catholics to contribute to the running of the shelter.


This week he said: "There are now seven Catholic parishes involved Sacred Heart, South Edinburgh Cluster, St John the Baptist, St John & St Mary Magdalene's, St Margaret's, St Ninian's, and St Patrick's. Altogether they cover 30 evenings.

"Catering teams provide the hot meals and more on the 224 nights that the shelter is open. There are 68 churches (of different denominations) involved, ranging from Cumbernauld to North Berwick."

Buy a Bed

The Bethany Christian Trust has launched its Buy a Bed campaign. For just £21, supporters can sponsor a bed at the Winter Care Shelter for someone who is homeless and who would otherwise be forced to sleep outside. They also get a hot meal. To find out more click here.

Craig’s story*

Craig had come to Edinburgh having been living in England. Very quickly he found work through an agency but wasn’t yet able to afford somewhere to stay. He would ask shelter staff to wake him up at 4am so he could get to work on time. The agency work was unreliable and so he applied for a job as a kitchen porter in an upmarket restaurant. One night he shared with staff that he had an interview the next day, and they were soon delighted to learn he had got the job, Craig didn’t stay every night, he would pay for a night in a hostel or budget hotel when he could afford it.

Craig was worried about getting his chef whites laundered and being able to hold onto his job until his first paycheck came through. Working while staying in a shelter is not easy.

One night, he met with the Care Shelter Link Workers who carry out provisional homeless assessments to determine whether people are eligible for temporary accommodation through the council. Craig went through an assessment and was able to be accommodated the next day. He stayed 14 nights at the Care Shelter.

*Name changed.



Catholics to 'kick-start' Advent with carols at Nativity scene

Archbishop Leo Cushley is encouraging Catholics to 'kick-start' their Advent at the annual Nativity Carol Concert in Edinburgh.

The ecumenical event will see carols sung by Blackhall St Columba’s Choir, St Andrew’s and St Georges West Choir, Wester Hailes Education Centre Choir, and the Salvation Army Brass Band. The Nativity Scene itself is donated by Catholic businessman and entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer and his wife.

The free event takes place on Sunday 1 December at 3pm and will be at a new location on The Mound in the city centre.

Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “It’s a great way to kick-start the Advent season. Choirs singing carols, a beautifully lit nativity scene and The Salvation Army bringing the brass! It’s also a positive witness of our Catholic faith -  a chance to show the joy that comes from trusting in God by singing His praise.

"In these days when religion is often pushed to the margins, we’ll be together in a busy city centre location, with other Christians, to announce the Good News of the coming of the Saviour. A special thanks to Sir Tom and Lady Farmer for continuing to donate the nativity scene each year.

"I’m looking forward to blessing the crib, and if it’s a cold day, some enthusiastic carol singing will help keep us all warm!”

Professor Robin Gill on 'The Future of Christian Ethics'

The Catholic chaplain at Edinburgh university will chair an event next week on The Future of Christian Ethics.

Father John O'Connor, a Dominican, will welcome Anglican priest Professor Robin Gill who will consider three of the existing tensions within Christian ethics that promise to be influential in shaping the future of the discipline.

These are tensions between emerging technology and Christian ethics; tensions between secular humanism and Christian ethics; and tensions between other faith traditions and Christian ethics.

He will examine the existing fruitful dialogue in each of these areas, and suggest some future directions they might take.

Professor Gill is the Emeritus Professor of Applied Theology at the University of Kent. The Anglican priest has extensively published in sociology, theology, and religious and health care ethics.

This event is hosted by the Albertus Institute for Science, Knowledge and Religion, and is co-sponsored by CTPI.

'The Future of Christian Ethics', Thursday 24th October, 7pm, Martin Hall, New College, The University of Edinburgh, Mound Place, EH1 2LX. Register at Eventbrite.