News Release

Canterbury Convoy UK Donations to France for Refugees

Over the last year Canterbury congregations have been given opportunities to serve refugees with many trips to the camps in Northern France. Canterbury chapel has received donations from all over the world including many areas of the UK and parcels arriving from as far as the US and New Zealand. Many individuals, school groups, all three universities in Kent, Muslims from the Canterbury Mosque, other Christian churches and the Jewish community in Kent have all walked through the doors of Canterbury chapel with many, many donations, which have been sorted and packed by members of the Church and friends in the local community time and time again, filling multiple vans with vital aid.


In September members set off on another convoy, with volunteers from the Canterbury congregations and the local community joined by those from St Albans and Northampton. Teams were split with some working in the Calais camp making repairs to shelters as needed. Others spent the day serving breakfast and dinner in the Jules Ferry Centre in the camp. All worked tirelessly all day, serving several thousands of people. The rest of the crew headed out to the Dunkirk camp to volunteer in the women’s centre. Many knitted squares were received from members throughout the UK and even from Utah, USA in response to an initiative titled, ‘Hearts Knit As One’. The Squares were sewn together into blankets in the women’s centre in Dunkirk. Camp life can be mundane and as winter approaches the cold is unimaginable.  Shelters consist of four wooden walls with little or no insulation. These squares provide both an activity to break the boredom and warmth for the refugees themselves.

By the end of the day it was touching to see a Kurdish mother walk away from the centre, smiling and clutching her new blanket that she had sewn together herself. Lives will never be the same since starting the work. Volunteers met wonderful people who touched their hearts from Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia and more. All were blessed and lives enriched by the many people who shared smiles, tears, food, laughter and fun.

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