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Companions of the Order of Malta mark their special day

11 February

Today, Companions Day, the Companions of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Order’s auxiliary organisation, look back on a year that was as busy during covid as before covid.

Around Christmas, the all-volunteer force counted up its Winter Warmer Campaign: a total of 15,314 items of clothing and toiletries were packed and delivered to 14 centres – from Inverness in the North, to Bristol in the West, Colchester in the East and London in the South. For Christmas itself, 65 Christmas wreaths were delivered to the OSJCT care homes (and chocolates for the staff), decorations and 25 festooned trees went to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, plus 180 mini-Christmas trees for each of the elderly residents in our ‘tea party’ care homes.

The soup kitchens in London operated under strict covid measures but have been recently suspended for the moment, for the greater safety of guests and volunteers. Golden Square breakfasts were open on a daily basis from Christmas to New Year, taking in a dozen or so rough sleepers for morning coffee and  croissants and then a hot lunch. Since then, the Wednesday breakfasts continue outside.

Photo: The Breakfast Club food packs for the homeless

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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.