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Dunkirk: Letter from Seeking Sanctuary

image Caritas  Europa

As we prepare this Easter update we continue to get disturbing news from Dunkirk where the camp was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Many of the residents who were displaced were put up for a few nights in local sports centres but they have now been told to move on - but to where? Some buses were provided but the majority of those involved preferred to push or carry their few possessions away...

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Calais: Things have never been so tough

image - Benny Hunter

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was. There are hundreds of refugees, mostly minors, sleeping rough on the streets of Calais and Paris with no access to shelter from the elemen...

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Vatican official visits agencies working with refugees

Ben Bano (Seeking Sanctuary), Faith Anderson (CSAN), Mgr Anthony Figueiredo, Libby Abbott (CAFOD), Phil Kerton (Seeking Sanctuary)

Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo of the Migrants and Refugees section of the Vatican's new Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development visited CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) this week, to hear about their work with refugees.

In particular, Mgr Figueiredo was interested in the work of CSAN member Seeking Sanctuary and their grassroots work delivering material aid ...

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Walthamstow parish receives livesimply award

The Walthamstow parish of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Patrick, in the care of the Society of African Mission (SMA) was given the livesimply parish award yesterday at its 11.30am Mass. The wooden plaque, made from a recycled church pew, was presented by award assessor Ellen Teague to parish priest Fr Kevin Conway, Chair of the parish Faith in Action group Colm Gallagher, and Dympna Mallon, Lai...

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Charities protest at government's 'reprehensible decision' on child refugees

Photo Credit: Benny Hunter

On 7th March MPs voted 287-267 to close the Dubs Amendment, and to shut the door on 2650 unaccompanied child refugees living without protection in Europe. More than 60 charities have signed an open letter protesting at the decision. They say:

This is a reprehensible decision.

The Children and Social Work Bill was proposed to have an amendment by MP Heidi Allen, which required the go...

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Calais: Catholic charity struggles to help stranded child refugees

Chlldren keep dry in plastic bags

While recent news has focussed on the UK government's decision to renege on their promise under the Dubs Amendment, to take 3,000 lone refugee children - volunteers in France are struggling to cope with hundreds of children - who've no longer even had the shelter of the 'Jungle' through this cold winter.

At the very end of January, the Calais Council registered a complaint agains...

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Cardinal Nichols urges Government to keep pledge on lone child refugees

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, today added his voice to appeals urging the government not to backtrack on its pledge to take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees. The Archbishop of Canterbury and all the major aid agencies have appealed to the government not to abandon the Dubs scheme for refugee children. A petition to Theresa May has attracted more than 43,000 signature...

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Walthamstow parish achieves livesimply parish award

The Walthamstow parish of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Patrick has become the second parish in Brentwood Diocese and the 24th parish in England and Wales to be awarded the livesimply parish award for its commitment to live more simply and sustainably and to stand in solidarity with the world's poor. The award is a national prize for Catholic parishes putting their faith into action.

Ell...

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UK failing to protect refugee children, say Catholic agencies

The UK is failing in its responsibility to protect some of the world's most vulnerable people, say Catholic agencies CAFOD and CSAN, following an announcement from the UK Government that it is cancelling plans to bring 3,000 refugee children to the UK as part of the Dubs Amendment scheme.

Bishop Paul McAleenan, who has responsibility for migration within the Catholic Bishops' Conference,...

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Campaigners urge Theresa May not to abandon lone child refugees + PETITION

image - Caritas Europa

Charities and groups working with unaccompanied child refugees have expressed grave concern after the government announced yesterday that it cancelled plans to bring 3,000 children to the UK. Phil Kerton, from Seeking Sanctuary, which works with Secours Catholique in Calais offering food, clothing and basic medical help to refugees, appealed for "individuals and faith groups to sp...

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Seeking Sanctuary - update on Calais refugees

Image from the demolish Jungle Eritrean Church

Phil Kerton and Ben Bano from Seeking Sanctuary send this latest report on the situation in Calais.

We have both made recent trips to deliver much-needed goods collected by a number of Church Communities. A very generous donation from a church in North London enabled Ben to distribute €1,000 to Secours Catholique and to the Catholic Worker House which is doing such vital wo...

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London talk: After the Jungle what next

Caritas Westminster and Capital Mass are hosting an event for those interested in finding out more about the situation for refugees and migrants on the coast of northern France and elsewhere after the destruction of the Calais 'Jungle' refugee camp. Come along to hear about the work of Brother Johannes Maertens at the Maria Skobtsova House in Calais, see two short films made by refugees living ...

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Catholic twins embark on charity projects in Africa and Asia

Step Into the Gap volunteers (Charlotte Bray end left, Sophie Bray back row and second from the right)

Twin sisters from Herefordshire are setting off for Africa and Asia this month as part of an ambitious charity project. The pair are participating in CAFOD's Step into the Gap scheme, which enables young people to spend a year volunteering in the UK and visiting CAFOD partners overseas. Charlotte Bray will be heading to Cambodia and her identical sister Sophie will travel to Ethiopia...

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North West NJPN E Bulletin

Anne O'Connor

In a bumper edition for January-February 2017, the latest North West National Justice and Peace Network E Bulletin features harrowing eye-witness accounts of the current situation in Kabul and of the dismantling of the Calais jungle.

Other items include home affairs (Poverty Action Week), SVP initiatives, housing and homelessness in the UK, the refugee crisis, the arms trade and menta...

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