Get your parish involved in the Bethany Welcome Centre

Catholic parishes can help the homeless by providing catering teams at the Bethany Welcome Centre in Edinburgh.

It provides a welcoming, safe environment for rough sleepers in the city. Guests receive a hot meal prepared and served by groups from Christian churches from all over Edinburgh, East Lothian and West Lothian.

The number of Catholic parishes providing a catering team has grown over recent years and organisers want to encourage even more parishes to volunteers for session 2021-22.

If you can help

The Welcome Centre will run at the Haymarket Hub Hotel (EH12 5DR) from Monday 4 October to Sunday 1 May. Please email with the below information.

Last session 2020/21

Find out more at or call 07919 557 673.

WATCH: The homeless project inspired by St Catharine

A religious sister has highlighted the role of "divine providence" in helping setting up a homeless project in Edinburgh.

Sr Aelred Timmins, a Sister of Mercy who runs St Catherine's Mercy Centre, appeared on BBC Scotland's 'Relfections at the Quay' on Sunday.

Have a look at our excerpt of her chat with Martin Fair, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The full episode is available on the BBC iPlayer - click here.

Find out more about the homeless project at St Catharine's Mercy Centre here.[0]=68.ARA3YiNH4d4Kk_ATiYDsoQpzQ9TCGNOJBNzIInDQZKBmYEgrOkLZKAcucU_iCM3oX_-hUS0JrTQ01o1wTuv_YJ98AUDLFmaY1WGYy_bDM1BrrXs0EPGSbAmyCvlD5AL3xRbfPA9ctea___ym6o5lZpjMaGHKreo9RYtVkYK5zfmaqeUSugwJxDVWKeCRMbwoHyVZQ9_zYZVjRcibrNwjDbB2-YJwdf0W0ZKUZEqxvkYipP7Df6jhhzvUCOfCBduI3JWR1PLCBSLt9JpCCzif0BTBVObUEtKxXgn0x6Y2vTMlce1BZ_OM272bfVGLORl1y3kYPJEapCbRaMq6vGFYEnztDdaAY8zuzjo&__tn__=-R

Churches urged to make meals at homeless shelter

A charity volunteer is urging fellow Catholic churches to help the homeless by getting involved at an Edinburgh winter care shelter.

Rab Burnett (below), a parishioner at the Ss Ninian and Triduana church in the city, helps out at the Bethany Christian Trust project in Gorgie Road.

Ahead of its busy winter season, the charity is looking for catering teams of six to eight people to come along to provide and prepare hot meals.

In a promotional video created by the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, Rab, a former headteacher, said: “How do you help and serve the poor and become, as Pope Francis says, a church of the poor? This gives you that opportunity to do that.

“It’s an incredibly positive experience and it’s great to see so many parishes of all Christian denominations involved.

“The whole idea is to make Jesus present and bring good news to people who are homeless on the streets.”

The winter care shelter opens on 23 September and runs for 32 weeks until 3 May. Last year it welcomed 746 homeless people.

Ruth Longmuir, care shelter manager, said: “This is a Christian project and we aim to show God’s love to people.

“So part of that is the catering teams from different churches who come along and cook the meals in the evening. That is seen as an expression of their faith.

“It would be great if there are an churches that would be willing to come along and bring food with them to prepare and cook a two course hot meal.”

She added: “Catholic parishes across Edinburgh have always been great supporters of Bethany Christian Trust for which we are so thankful. We are hugely grateful for any continued assistance, whether that be volunteering, donations or prayers.”

View our promo video here. To get involved call 0131 454 3120 or email