GDS Diadem: The Stenhouse Buildings

"For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.


The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendour in the Lord's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God."

Isaiah 62: 1-3

GDS DIADEM is the suite of church buildings on the corner of Gorgie Road and Chesser Avenue which, until January 2016 was Stenhouse St.Aidan’s Parish Church.

After SSAPC and Gorgie Dalry Parish Church were unified, the SSAPC congregation began worshiping at GDS Gorgie with the rest of the GDPC congregation.  At this point, the former Stenhouse St.Aidan’s buildings became largely empty, save for a few regular hall-lets.

The new Gorgie Dalry Stenhouse Church was then faced with the decision of what to do with these buildings. A steering group was formed and it became clear through prayer and discussion that we were being called as a church to offer the main Sanctuary space to Bethany Christian Trust as a home for the Care Shelter, which had, until then, been hosted for a few nights at a time in numerous halls across Edinburgh. GDS Church plans to, in time, develop ideas of how we can make the rest of the buildings available, relevant and helpful to the rest of the community in the Stenhouse-Chesser area.


The idea was, in providing a fixed location for the Care Shelter, to allow for proper beds, rather than roll up mattresses, to be provided as well as showers and even laundry facilities. It was also hoped that it would make it easier for rough-sleepers in Edinburgh to know with confidence where they could find the Care Shelter.

Alterations necessary to make the former SSAPC Sanctuary fit for purpose took place in November and December 2018 and the Care Shelter moved in to GDS Diadem just in time for Christmas.  During this process the Session was led to the verses quoted above, and so determined that the buildings would be known as Diadem. This first winter at Diadem, which concluded in May 2019, was considered to be a trial-run in the new setting, and all involved agreed that the trial was a success.

Permanent change of use permissions were granted in time for the Care Shelter to return  The hope is that GDS Diadem can host the Care Shelter for many years to come, but there is still work to do. Towards the end of the 2019-2020 Care Shelter Season the shelter was forced to move into unused hotel accommodation to maintain social distancing. We await confirmation of whether or not Diadem will be able to host the shelter in the 2020-21 season.

At present we are raising funds to refurbish and upgrade the Kitchen at GDS Diadem to a commercial catering standard. This will make the invaluable work of the hundreds of volunteers, across dozens of catering teams, who prepare two-course hot meals for up to 75 people each night, much easier as the present kitchen is old and poorly equipped.

If you feel you would like to support the work at GDS Diadem in a financial way, you can donate to the kitchen upgrade project using the Our Just Giving Page

GDS Diadem:

537-539 Gorgie Road,


EH14 1TA

Telephone: 0131 337 7936

On bus routes: 3, 25, 30, 33