• The Calais project

THE CALAIS PROJECT                     

 Pope Francis has called migrants and refugees “seekers of peace,” and urged us to support and help them – and open our hearts to them – by whatever means we can.

For the past three years you have responded generously to the request for donations of material goods and money for Help Refugees at the Auberge des Migrants in Calais. From this base are distributed approximately 1500 hot meals each day, and in winter bags of wood and kindling for heating and cooking. Here clothes, tents, sleeping bags and personal hygiene items are sorted and sent out in response to the daily “expulsions”, or clearances, by the police which prevent anyone pitching a tent or sleeping for more than a few hours. All this goes on in the cold and wet of winter.

It is a problem to which there is no solution in sight, so all we can do is help the miserable plight of these people as best we can.

Our parishioner Mary Kirk has worked there as a volunteer for the past three years, and reports it is a place of inspiration and hope, run like clockwork mainly by young people who give up days, weeks, and sometimes months or years to carry on this work.

We are hoping that there will now be parishioners who will take up this challenge in her place, and go and spend a few days each year in Calais. It would enhance the CV of any young person, but you can go at any age (18+), and at any time of year. English is the language spoken. The work can be strenuous and demanding – but the lunch is delicious!

If anyone would like to know more contact Mary on mary.kirk@btinternet.com, or Father Charles priest@rcdea.org.uk.