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Calais: Basildon parish suspends project - others to continue

Cleared 'Jungle'

Fr Dominic Howarth, Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Church, Basildon, Essex, writes:

After fourteen months, the parish Calais project is - for now - at an end. As you will have seen on the news, the Calais jungle was completely demolished three weeks ago. The refugees living there were sent to 'welcome centres' across France. The reports being received by charities indicate that t...

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Reflection from Calais Jungle - winter approaches

The Last Supper by Henrok

The future of everyone living in 'The Jungle' in Calais looks very uncertain. The UK government has now agreed that 387 children documented as having relatives in the UK can come to the UK, once an official list has been agreed with the French authorities. But that leaves another 500 unaccompanied children at risk. The French authorities say they plan to demolish the camp as early as Monday. Wh...

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Calais 'Jungle' - supplies running dangerously low

Tents among sand dunes

Fr Dominic Howarth describes his recent visit to the Calais 'Jungle' - and conversations with the people who live there.

One of the two Care4Calais warehouses is completely empty. The other is barely two thirds full. In the ten months since starting to visit, we have never seen it like this. It is a far, far cry from the time last September when donations were coming in faster t...

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Reflections from visit to Calais - #Iamhumantoo

There are between 50 and 60 arrivals EVERY DAY in Calais at the moment - that is 300-400 a week, around 1500 a month. And it is only June.

The people looking after the aid warehouses are anxious - ever since two thirds of the Camp was bulldozed in January/February there has been a marked drop in media and public interest.

The donations have reduced, and the warehouses are emptying...

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Thirty migrants join Calais 'jungle' and Dunkirk camp daily

The Calais 'jungle'

The population of the Calais and Dunkirk camps has again risen beyond 5000 and grows at the rate of some 30 new souls daily. The site of the Calais 'jungle' has changed greatly since the destruction of many dwellings in February, but the camp has not gone away, with thousands of migrants still relying on aid and the hard work of volunteers.

Observations from several visits to Calais in ...

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Calais refugees: 'please tell people we are still here!'

Fr Dominic Howarth, Parish Priest from Basildon in Essex reflects on his latest visit to the Calais refugee camp.

Here is a sombre thought: just 24 hours before we crossed the Channel two Iranian refugees had set off from Calais in this rubber dinghy, trying to row across the 22 miles to England. It is the busiest shipping lane in the world, with 400 crossings a day.

Undo...

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Brentwood: Confirmation candidates to explore Tweeting with God

Fr Michel Remery

Confirmation candidates gathering for the Rite of Acceptance this weekend will hear from the author of Tweeting with God, an interactive tool to help young people with questions on faith.

This Sunday, 28 February, 640 young people preparing for Confirmation are to hear from a priest who talks their language at a session exploring his book and app, Tweeting with God. In it, Fr Michel Reme...

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A caravan called TOWIE ... Reflection on visit to Calais Jungle

A caravan called TOWIE

A caravan called TOWIE, French bulldozers, and an amazing group of Belgians Reflection on visit to Calais Jungle

Today's visit begins with the story of a caravan called TOWIE, a little two berth caravan that was lying unused in Harold Wood, Essex. It was reclaimed for just £300 by a wonderful and tiny charity called Jungle Canopy (you can find them on Facebook) who christened it TOWIE a...

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Dignity, medicines, nits and scabies: reflections on Calais, Dec 2015

Calais 'Hall of Fame'

On Wednesday, I had a powerful lesson in dignity that will stay with me for life. I wasn't prepared for it - I had thought Wednesday would be about medicines. It was, mainly, and I'll come back to that, but first I would like to invite you to remember the last time you went shopping for a pair of trousers - for yourself, or someone else.

Consider this scene; at the care4calais aid wareho...

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Calais: Hope and faith amidst relentless rain and biting cold

Some of the stronger shelters

The relentless, soaking, miserable rain, and the biting, to-the-marrow cold, will be my abiding memory of yesterday. From ten minutes after stepping out of the minibus, to some hours after getting home, I was not once warm or dry - and it feels pretty indulgent to write that, because for those living in Calais that is their permanent reality, with precious few places to become warm or dry. It i...

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Calais Jungle - 'There are now 300 new arrivals every week'

Editor's note - It seems the number of refugees at the Calais 'Jungle' has doubled since I went there last month - from 3,000 to 6,000. Fr Dominic Howarth from Brentwood Diocese has just returned from a second visit and sends this report. This morning we left Basildon with a fragrant minibus full of 1,000 "packets of hope and love": a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a bar ...

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Essex parish sends a thousand packets of love and hope to Calais refugees

Parishioners at Our Lady and All Saints with the first shipment

More than 30 volunteers spent Saturday afternoon at Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Church, Basildon, Essex, packing 1,000 "little packets of love and hope," to be delivered to the refugee camp at Calais on Friday. They contain donated items - toothpaste, a toothbrush, bar of soap, socks and underwear. Support has come from Christian churches and people of all faiths and none across Basildon, ...

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Essex: Basildon parish appeals for aid for refugees in Calais

Chapel in the Jungle - image courtesy Seeking Sanctuary

Basildon Catholics are appealing for aid for the migrants suffering in Calais. Parish priest of Our Lady & All Saints in Basildon, Fr Dominic Howarth, said: "Our sisters and brothers of all faiths living in the Calais 'jungle' need urgent help: this week Secours Catholique - a charity supporting the migrants - ran out of blankets."

The appeal comes in a month which saw Bishop Lynch, ...

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