The BBC's decision to film a special edition of 'Songs Of Praise' from Calais' biggest migrant camp has inflamed opinions, with critics branding the move "insensitive" while others say it could help humanise the crisis.
Crews for the TV programme have been filming at a church in the so-called 'Jungle', a sprawling encampment home to thousands hoping to reach Britain.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, told The Sun on Thursday: "This is an insensitive thing to do. We are facing a grave crisis.
"The BBC should be careful not to start looking as if they are making political points out of this."
Others against the idea took to Twitter to voice their disquiet.
BBC to broadcast Songs of Praise from migrant camp in Calais the sooner this waste of public money is scrapped the better— David Little (@ukipdealdover) August 7, 2015
Songs of Praise to be broadcast from Calais migrant camp.
Good use of licence fee - NON 👎— Nikki (@BromleyBeau) August 6, 2015
@BBC I really object to having my TV license fee being spent on Songs of Praise going to Calais for illegal migrants— Bezza (@BerylBerylmcgee) August 6, 2015
But not everyone was against it, others voicing their considerable support as well.
How do I tell songs of praise that I think they're awesome for doing an episode in the migrant camp in Calais? Because I do.— Jennie Rigg (@miss_s_b) August 7, 2015
Believe it or not the reasoning behind the Songs of Praise Calais decision can be found in the Daily Mail comments pic.twitter.com/KNWWtbFNXo— Chris York (@ChrisDYork) August 7, 2015
Well done, BBC's Songs of Praise. Now for the rest of us to follow. 'Calais' is not a French problem, nor a British one. Let's all help.— Philip Corsius (@PhilipCorsius) August 7, 2015
A BBC spokeswoman said the programme, which has run for over fifty years, brought hymns from churches around the UK and short topical magazine features of interest to Christians "from a range of places".
Giles Fraser, a former St Paul's Cathedral cannon who is also involved in the contentious episode, posted pictures of some scenes the production team had encountered in their pursuit of filming the new episode.
In the Calais church with Ethiopian migrants. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. pic.twitter.com/VHUxb05BbC— Giles Fraser (@giles_fraser) August 6, 2015
Goodbye to St Michael's, Calais. Tried to find the people who built it. But they are all now in England I'm told. pic.twitter.com/RFdlZlKtr3— Giles Fraser (@giles_fraser) August 6, 2015
These words give me a life of relative prosperity. But what did I do to deserve them? pic.twitter.com/ilDUjrUOCs— Giles Fraser (@giles_fraser) August 6, 2015
The decision to film 'Songs of Praise' from Calais comes amid an unprecedented surge in migrants attempting to cross the Channel and enter Britain.
A former British ambassador to France has warned there is no "magic solution" to current migrant crisis, and said the issues should be seen in the context of an overall surge in migration into Europe.
Sir John Holmes, who held the post between 2001 and 2007, said: "Although it's a very difficult problem and causes a lot of obstacles and complications, it is a relatively small part of a much bigger problem which is the number of people trying to get illegally into Europe from the Middle East and North Africa."
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