Belfast Telegraph

Team set to share Belfast Black Santa duties

By Adrian Rutherford

One of the great traditions of Christmas in Belfast - the Black Santa sit-out - gets under way on the steps of St Anne's Cathedral on Monday.

As the cathedral is between Deans over the festive period, a team of Black Santas will ensure the sit-out continues.

Dean-Elect, Archdeacon Stephen Forde, will take part on day one in preparation for becoming Black Santa next year.

Dean's Vicar, the Rev Canon Mark Niblock, said: "Over the past 41 years, this collection has become bigger than one person. This is a good opportunity to pay tribute to the staff and volunteers, canons of the cathedral and the two bishops whose seats are in St Anne's, who all contribute so faithfully to the appeal each year."

The sit-out was founded by Dean Sammy Crooks in 1976. He sat outside St Anne's with a small barrel for donations, wearing his black, Anglican clerical cloak, with the press dubbing him Belfast's Black Santa.

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