France - Caen Presqu'île
We are bringing transformation to the city of Caen by focusing our plans on the former docks area, now largely abandoned and home to an eclectic population of homeless people, refugees and trafficked women. Despite being adjacent to a prosperous City Centre, the Presqu'ile is one of the neediest neighbourhoods of Caen. It has been known locally for many years as a "No Man's Land". To bring change to this visibly derelict area is to participate in the transformation of the city itself.
In this forgotten place God has called us to three purposes:
- To build a church. We are planting an international, non-denominational, missional community of faith, and we believe that the Presqu'ile, with all of its issues, is the place the church should be.
- To worship. From day 1 we have prayed and worshipped on the Presqu'ile itself. We will create a worship room - The House of Songs - with a regular rhythm of worship and prayer for the area.
- To love the poor. We will serve all those in the neighbourhood who have need of food, freedom and forgiveness.
Caen is a city of 120,000 people serving a metro area - called 'Caen La Mer' - of 270,000. It is the principal city of the Lower Normandy region. 'Caen Presqu'ile' is the name given to the disused docks area, sandwiched between a 160-year-old Ship Canal and the 'Orne', the city's main river. it is a sector showing significant social and spiritual need. Abandoned warehouses have for many years been used by the homeless population of Caen, and the area has more recently become home to two new populations: trafficked women working in the sex industry, and refugees spilling over from the former camps in Calais. The women operate from approximately 30 vans spread across the area, and the refugees are squatting in a number of warehouse units.
In April 2017, working from a converted ambulance, we began a weekly service of a hot meal to a group of 80 Sudanese migrants living in a squat on the Presqu'ile. These young men - aged from 14 to 30 - are from the troubled Dharfour region. They are unregistered and as far as we can tell they eat 3 or at most 4 meals per week.
This weekly gathering around the meal table is the first expression of our presence in the area. We are seeking to secure a premises on the Presqu'ile itself to aid the preparation and distribution of meals, so that we can expand this service. We will then establish the House of Songs with a view to building a long-term church presence.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT INTEGRATED COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION
INTEGRATED COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION
When we enter a community, we seek to relate to and understand the community through the eyes of Jesus. This includes pre-training and ongoing on-field research.
EVALUATE and ENGAGE
We repeat a collaborative cycle that aims to work alongside others in the community to identify and assess both needs and resources. Alongside the community, we encourage initiatives guided by a strategy and help implement them.
As transformation takes hold in a community our role changes. We avoid creating unhealthy dependencies and focus on what Jesus is doing within the community. This typically leads to expansion as transformation impacts surrounding communities.
Ways you can be involved
Consider or share these open opportunities
Project Leader (SOS CHAI Ministry)
There are currently 400 to 500 refugees living in Caen, around 100 of them on the Presqu'île. SOS CHAI provides food, hot and cold drinks, friendship and support to refugees living, legally or illegally, in the Caen Presqu'île area. Working out of a converted ambulance, the ministry was first established in the "Jungle" refugee camp in Calais, moving to Caen in 2017 following the demolition of the Calais camp. We are looking for an individual to help us to fulfill and build-up our capacity to aid and support the refugee community in Caen.
End Slavery Project Leader
Prostitution in Caen operates for the most part from vehicles rather than buildings, and the majority of these are parked in the former docks area of the city. Based on a church-plant planned for the neighborhood, we want to reach out to the women trafficked into this industry - to offer support, friendship and unconditional love, meeting such needs as are identified and within our capacity to meet. We are looking for an individual to help us to fulfill and build-up our capacity to help and support trafficked women in Caen.
Short-Term Team Member
Come to France and get caught up in how much God loves you, how much he intends for you and how incredibly fruitful your life will be when you embrace the depth of your Father’s love for all he has made. We have opportunities in refugee ministry, working with trafficked women, environmental impact projects and outreach to the general population. In addition our missional church-plant provides opportunities in worship, children's work and youth and student ministries.