What We Do
Part of the mission outreach of Greyfriars Kirk, the Greyfriars Charteris Centre is a place for community, connection and wellbeing, providing a base and support for social enterprises, charities, local groups and activities gathering around interests and issues that include equality, diversity, mental and physical health, faith, culture and the arts, education, local community interests and more.
We seek to provide a warm welcome and serve people of all cultures, faiths and self-expression; and support initiatives promoting the care and wellbeing of individuals, communities and environment.
Through its own social enterprise approach, the Centre offers offices, meeting rooms, desk-hire and event spaces, accompanied by a meaningful community experience creating opportunities for networking, collaboration and support. Explore this website to find out about the various spaces on offer, which can cater for all sorts of activities.
In partnership with The City of Edinburgh Council and other grant-makers, foundations and donors, the Centre creates paid employment for individuals facing barriers to mainstream opportunities. These create opportunities to develop new work-related skills, ethics and experience, or build on existing skills and explore new areas, while developing confidence and resilience. (Find out more about current opportunities here).
Social enterprise helps to sustain the Centre, create opportunities for community and wellbeing, and actively support others exploring entrepreneurial opportunities, support services and community partnerships for the health and wellbeing of our community and environment.
Working with Others
Activities and events at the Centre provide opportunities for people living, studying and working in the area to:
engage with matters of local interest;
join in recreation in a friendly, diverse community;
access the arts and culture;
find support for mental health and wellbeing;
explore matters of faith and spirituality;
or simply enjoying a quiet, sanctuary space.
Working in partnership with groups and individuals based at the Centre, local friends and neighbours, we actively seek opportunities for connection and collaboration to best support the needs of the Centre’s participants, those they serve, and the local community.
Community & Wellbeing
We are committed to collaborating with others, in all sectors, to generate and build-upon ideas and initiatives that seek to nurture community wellbeing. By sharing resources, expertise and efforts, we believe working in partnership, founding on shared values and principles, delivers more effective support and services for local individuals and groups living, working and studying in and around the Charteris Centre, and the wider community.
The Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The University of Edinburgh to work together, engaging university students and staff, along with local residents and groups based in the area, to seek ways to come together to benefit the local community.
Our Centre Manager chairs the Southside Community Council, regularly attends the Southside Residents Association meetings, and engages with local councillors and the Dumbiedykes Working Group, to participate fully and share the Centre’s resources and knowledge.
Vision, Mission & Impact
More coming soon!
Our customers say . . . .
‘Scottish Love In Action has been based at Greyfriars Charteris Centre for many years. It's a fantastic resource and helps many charities and community groups. After many years, we’re still here. Why? We have the flexibility of our own offices with the benefits of shared facilities. It's a great location – handy for the city centre, and has views of Arthur's Seat.’
- Jamie (Office user)
'Excellent venue for our meeting, right in the heart of the City Centre, warm and friendly service, no hassle(s) whatsoever! Thank you Greyfriars Charteris Centre!'
- Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society (Centre user)
‘Great venue, lovely place and very clean, the staff have been incredibly helpful and welcoming.’
- Linn (Self-defence instructor / Centre user)
‘The nicest rehearsal venue in Edinburgh.’
- Robin (Pianist / Centre user)
‘It’s got a beautiful amount of light.’
- Craig (Fringe performer / Centre user)
‘I love what has been created from Kirk o’Field. Space, light, and openness.’
- Maggie (volunteer)
‘Brilliant and helpful staff.’
- Babyosseh (Centre user)
Daniel Fisher, Centre Manager
Daniel joined the Greyfriars family in 2011 as a Choral Scholar at Greyfriars Kirk. He has been working at the Charteris Centre since October 2016 and became Centre Manager in June 2018. He oversees all aspects of running the Centre, including the completion of the redevelopment.
Daniel has a keen interest in the natural world and enjoys singing in classical choirs.
Alex Alderton, Centre Administrator
Alex Alderton, Centre Administrator - Alex has been working at the Centre since April 2022 and has a background in administration as well as climate activism.
They enjoy taking advantage of Edinburgh’s many green spaces and spend a lot of time hiking and cycling.
Gillian Couper, Parish/Centre Associate
Gillian lives, works and studies in Edinburgh Southside and as part of the Greyfriars ministry team gets involved with projects and partnerships with participants, friends and neighbours of the Kirk, Charteris Centre and Grassmarket Community Project that promote social equality, create opportunities for people to come together with different life experiences to share, and celebrate the diversity of Edinburgh’s Southside.
As well as being an eternal student (currently studying divinity at New College), Gillian loves being in hiking boots on a Munro or up Arthur’s Seat with her dog Sandy.
Board Of Trustees
Richard Frazer, Chair
Richard has been minister at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh since 2003 and is founder and Chair of the Grassmarket Community Project as well as the founding Chair of the Greyfriars Charteris Centre.
He has a longstanding interest in community development and a passion for social justice and finding alternative pathways towards a viable and humane economy that includes rather than excludes, and enables people and the planet to thrive. He has an interest in and has written on agriculture and pilgrimage walking and loves to cook, walk and garden.
He is married to Kate, a counsellor and psychotherapist, who is founding director of CoCo Counselling in Communities, an affordable counselling practice based at the Greyfriars Charteris Centre. They have three grown up children.
Heather Wright, Treasurer
Jo Elliot, Trustee
Jo has a background in finance, latterly as chief executive of the Edinburgh merchant bank Quayle Munro. Since 2010 he has held a number of appointments as non-executive director or trustee in arts, education and social care including University of Dundee, St Mary’s Music School, Scottish Grantmakers, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Dunedin Consort.
Besides being a trustee of the Grassmarket Community Project and of Greyfriars Charteris Centre he is Session Clerk of Greyfriars Kirk and a board member of the Church of Scotland Social Care Council (Crossreach).
Elaine Crichton, Trustee
Elaine currently oversees the Specialist Volunteer programme with Inspiring Scotland, a pioneering Venture Philanthropy organisation who works closely with over 700 charities across 17 social impact funds. In her dual role Elaine is also a Performance Adviser working on the Learning Disabilities fund, which recognises that people who have a learning disability have the same aspirations and expectations as everyone else.
Prior to joining Inspiring Scotland Elaine spent over 28 years in fund management, most recently with Kames Capital managing a £1bn North American equity portfolio.
Chloe Kippen, Trustee
Chloe is Director of College Advancement and Health Philanthropy at the University of Edinburgh.
She is delighted to be representing the University of Edinburgh on the board of the Charteris Centre. Her day job is supporting the University by seeking philanthropic funding for research and scholarships and engaging alumni in the University’s work. She is committed to the Centre’s aim of creating a centre for all communities.
A Little History
The Charteris Centre occupies the former Charteris Memorial Church (more recently known as the Kirk o'Field Church) and St Ninians Centre (also known as the Kirk o’Field Centre). The Charteris Memorial Church was opened in May 1912 to commemorate theologian The Very Rev. Professor Archibald Charteris (1835 - 1908), who was a pioneer in establishing the diaconal ministry.
After merging with several local congregations over the years, in 2013 the congregation merged with the Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland Kirk, with all formal worship activities relocated to Greyfriars Kirk. The enlarged parish forms one of the largest Church of Scotland parishes in Edinburgh.
In June 2016 the Charteris Centre was formed as the outreach arm of Greyfriars Kirk, providing a place of connection with communities of all kinds and aiming to support wellbeing and enterprise in Edinburgh.
A major redevelopment of the building was completed in early 2022, which improved the accessibility, inclusivity, and comfort of our spaces with ramps, lifts, accessible toilets, and improved heating and lighting. The main Kirk o’Field Hall was renamed the Binks Hall, and the Harry Miller Hall was transformed into a Social Enterprise Hub.
For a more detailed history (with a few images and early photographs) , click here.