“Give from the heart since each person is the very icon of God incarnate in the world.” Maria Skobtsova
Our house and community is named after Maria Skobtsova, a Russian Orthodox Saint and Martyr who took care of Russian refugees, migrants, the homeless and Jewish people in Paris during the last century. Maria Skobtsova House works in this spirit amongst refugees in Calais, offering them a place of sanctuary, support and love.
Our guests are amongst the most vulnerable from within the Calais refugee community, a particular welcome being offered to woman and women with children.
A former guest from Eritrea now living in UK, writes: “It’s difficult to explain by words what we get as help or support from Maria Skobtsova House. Because for us you know living in Calais costs many many things, so without the support of this house it’s very hard to live in Calais. For example, when I came to the house for the first time I was sick. I can’t resist the pain so did you think I can survive without the help of this house? No never. The chapel is helpful for us. It’s like bridge with our God. It help us to be faithful in God. Prayer makes everybody strong. This house help us to love each other and to have a good relationship with others and we get lovely and supportive friends from this house”.
Daily Life in Maria Skobtsova House
Guests and volunteers live together in the house, sharing the daily domestic tasks of cleaning and cooking. We place special emphasis on the importance of all the household eating as a community together around the dining table. There is a daily rhythm of prayer in the chapel in which everyone can participate, and the opportunity to join in English lessons, trips to the beach and other recreational activities.
“As a volunteer the house teaches me a lot about my position as a European, as a human and as a follower of the Prince of Peace. While Calais breathes deprivation and injustice, Maria Skobtsova House contributes to a dissent.” Chana 20. The Netherlands. Volunteer in Maria Skobtsova House
Maria Skobtsova House relies on volunteers for the day to day running of the house. We are looking for people with mature and warm personalities, able to be flexible and able to adapt quickly to changing situations and contribute to and maintain a family atmosphere.
Our work is only possible thanks to donations by individual people, by churches, parishes and religious communities.