Today’s updates from the Calais camp – church, mosque and shelters demolished

Below are the updates from the refugee camp in Calais that we have shared on Facebook throughout the day.

Monday 1st February, 10:12 am

Despite promises to the contrary, this morning at around 9am, the Calais Prefecture bulldozed the Mosque which stood in the newly created ‘buffer zone’. Previously they had agreed that The Mosque, The Church and The School would not be touched as they cleared the area to create a safe space between the camp and the public roads.

Devastated residents watched the destruction.

The Mosque held daily services with as many as 300 attending.

The bulldozers are currently tearing down the Church, while residents scramble to rescue what they can from the building.

Calais update 1st Feb church demolition (1)

Calais update 1st Feb church demolition (2)

Monday 1st February, 10:54 am

The teams on the ground have been granted one hour to move 4 occupied shelters which are part of the Church compound, housing about 10 residents including the Pastor, before the Bulldozers tear down the remaining structures.

02 February Posts

Monday 1st February, 11:24 am

Our teams (Help Refugees/L’Auberge) quickly working to dismantle & move shelters, mostly occupied by single women. The Police out in force. The Bulldozer drivers have gone to lunch!

The Pastor is not prepared to remove the crosses from the Church roof. He will stand by in dignified silence as bulldozers tear them down.

Pastor will watch his church be torn down

Monday 1st February, 12:42 am

Sad to report that the Church has now been demolished despite the Prefecture promises to not touch places of worship.

There was just time for a last minute prayer before the machinery tore in.

The pastor stood by in dignified silence, clutching the remaining cross from the Church roof.

Final prayers before the church is torn down on the 1st of Feb in Calais (1) Final prayers before the church is torn down on the 1st of Feb in Calais (2)

We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!