ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS IN CALAIS 7th January 2020
It has become a tradition for Maria Skobtsova House to enable the Eritrean and Ethiopian refugee community in Calais to celebrate Orthodox Christmas and Easter. Thanks to wonderful support from Father Bryan and Father Pierre, from Sister Henriette and Sister Monique, from Veronique, Sister Francoise, Martine, MSH volunteers and the incredible cooking team (Eritrean and Ethiopian women guests in MSH) this year’s Orthodox Christmas celebration was a memorable day. 60 of the refugee community came for prayer in St Joseph’s church, led by 3 Orthodox deacons from within the community, and 150 came for the celebratory meal afterwards.
For 2 days, MSH kitchen was a hive of activity:Preparing Hambasha bread
400 Injera were made
Stirring the Xigni (Eritrean/Ethiopian beef stew) on a burner in the courtyard
150 hard-boiled eggs, the final addition to the Xigni
Shoes are always removed before prayer
Orthodox Christmas Prayer Service, St Joseph’s Calais
The Three Orthodox Diakons, in white prayer shawls, leading prayer
Nativity scene and Orthodox Selassie (Trinity) in front of St Joseph’s altar. The Selassie was formerly in the Big Jungle Orthodox Church (demolished 2016).
The Feast is served: injera, xigni, salad