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The comfort of food and friendliness

Order of Malta London soup kitchens are busy all winter long

London, 6 January 2014

The week's volunteer group poses fo The camera

The week’s volunteer group poses for the camera

The nights are cold, gloomy, wet, as the homeless line up beside the Order of Malta van in Lincoln’s Inn Fields each week; or as many move into the warmth of the Order’s soup kitchen recently established in the crypt of St James’s Spanish Place for food and comfort. Both locations are staffed by Order of Malta volunteers who come from all walks of life and all parts of London to play their part in giving help to the homeless and destitute.

‘It’s never a problem to have enough volunteers,’ says organiser Patrick Knollys. ‘We are delighted at the response to our call for help and very grateful to the West End food suppliers who are supporting this important project. Homelessness is a problem in all major cities. Here in London, we aim to give a little cheer and a little comfort to all who come to us.’

A guest checks in for much needed supplies

A guest checks in for much needed supplies

The lineup gets long on winter evenings

The lineup gets long on winter evenings

Photos: Julian Andrews

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.