Caen, France

Caen Presqu'ile

France

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OUR COMMUNITY

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.

We are bringing transformation to the city of Caen by focusing our plans on the former docks area. Despite being adjacent to a prosperous City Centre, the Presqu'ile is one of the neediest neighborhoods 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.

Men eating
OUR WORK

In this forgotten place God has called us for three purposes:

To Build A church - We are 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 planted.

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 neighborhood who have need of food, freedom forgiveness.

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 premise 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.

 

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