St Giles’ Neighbourhood Group

On this page you will find information about the St Giles’ Neighbourhood Group, their contact details and the latest news and happenings.

Who are we and what do we do?

The Neighbourhood Group is a small group of volunteers comprising members of the congregation and adherents of St Giles’.  The group was established in 2006 with the aim of

Seeking to embody a living faith that is timeless yet contemporary, thoughtful and compassionate, pursuing social justice and pastoral  care through prayer and service with a sense of imagination and adventure.  Through our work we would also wish to continue to encourage the congregation of St Giles’ to support our outreach and also engage in the renewal of their commitment and involvement in these things”. [Dr Hilary Smith, Assistant Minister, 2006]

In practical terms we

  • Fundraise and, where possible, provide practical support, primarily but not exclusively, to locally based charities
  • Invite and encourage the congregation to participate in the activities of the Group and provide practical support to local charitable organisations on a personal basis
  • Increase the general awareness within the congregation of the problems confronting those in our community who face significant social problems and deprivation

Examples of charities we currently support through these activities include the Edinburgh Food Project (Trussell Trust), Bethany Christian Trust, Streetwork, 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café, The Welcoming Association, Fresh Start, Edinburgh Clothing Store, Grassmarket Community Project, Rock Trust and CrossReach.

How to contact us

If you wish to contact us our email address is Neighbourhoodgroup@stgilescathedral.org.uk

Current Activities

St Giles’ Work with Bethany Trust

During the current pandemic, Bethany Christian Trust has continued to provide a great service in looking after homeless people.

Since the Welcome Centre at Diadem has been closed because of Covid restrictions, a new venue has been set up at the Hub Hotel in Haymarket. There, 50 homeless people have been accommodated, each with his/her own bedroom.

Catering has been continued by the rota of volunteers, chiefly from church congregations. St Giles’ has fielded its team of volunteers for three nights during this winter programme.

Volunteers making famous St Giles’ trifle
Volunteers helping out with hot food

Food is provisioned and paid for by the Neighbourhood Group’s fund-raising efforts. A two course meal is cooked at the Central Hall, Tollcross ,and transported in insulated crates to be served in the Hub Hotel. It is all done by a team of willing and able volunteers, working within a very tight time -limit. As an exercise, it is quite demanding, logistically. Thankfully, it has so far worked successfully.

Some homemade lasagne served at the Hub Hotel
Edinburgh Food Project

Four members of the Neighbourhood Group serve as volunteers with the Edinburgh Food Project.

Two work at the warehouse on Broomhouse Road, dealing with the food stock and assembling food allocations for people who have been referred to individual foodbanks by the various social services. Two others work as volunteers in foodbanks at Tollcross and the Grassmarket.