The Dean of Belfast, Dr Houston McKelvey, has announced that a special Black Santa ‘Barrel for Haiti’ for the survivors of the disaster is available for members of the public, companies, clubs and schools who would wish to assist the recovery of the victims.
The ‘Barrel for Haiti’ is just inside the front door of the cathedral and the Cathedral Stewards and staff will welcome visitors. Gift Aid envelopes are available. The Cathedral is open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays and from 10am to 1pm and 3-4.30pm on Sundays.
Dean McKelvey said the initiative is in response to members of the public who contacted him stating that they would wish to give their support through the Cathedral. Cheques should be made payable to: Belfast Cathedral – Haiti.
Donations received will be forwarded through well established bona fide relief agencies. Postal donations may be sent to The Dean, Belfast Cathedral, Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2HB
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Alan Harper, has announced that the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal Church's World Aid and Development Programme is donating an initial €20,000 towards the emergency relief effort.
The Archbishop said: “The tragedy of the devastating earthquake in Haiti on top of the wreckage caused by hurricanes in 2008 has left what is already the poorest community in the Western world even more traumatized and impoverished.
“My heart goes out to the survivors, both those suffering injuries and the bereaved. I pray for the success of the international response to the disaster and I encourage all those who feel able to do so to contribute financially to assist the people of Haiti at this terrible time.”
The funds donated by the Bishops’ Appeal will be sent through Christian Aid who have partners working in the country.
Archbishop Harper went on: “The Archbishop of Dublin and I are appealing for further donations for relief and would suggest that collections be held in churches as soon as possible and sent through Bishops’ Appeal. Individuals wishing to donate in euro or sterling may also send contributions to to Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6. Please mark such donations ‘Haiti Appeal’.”
The Archbishop said he also supported the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal and commended the efforts of the Dean of Belfast (Black Santa) in providing facilities for people to make contributions at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.
“I know that in churches throughout the Church of Ireland in the coming days and weeks prayers will be offered for the injured and bereaved, for the safety of those attempting to render assistance and for the rebuilding of community life in Haiti. I join my prayers with those of others of many denominations for the wellbeing of all affected by the earthquake,” the Archbishop concluded.
Christian Aid has also launched an emergency appeal for victims of the Haiti earthquake. Margaret Boden, CEO of Christian Aid Ireland, said: “This latest disaster is going to cause untold suffering and hardship, particularly in communities with very little to fall back on. There is an urgent need for emergency supplies, including food, shelter and medicine.
‘In the longer term, rebuilding is going to require massive international assistance. I appeal to people to give what they can.’
Those wishing to donate on on-line should go to www.christianaid.ie