Charities come together for Good Samaritans’ Service

Thursday February 6th 2014

Dean John Mann, left, with special guests the Rev Canon Dr Heather Morris and BBC journalist Tara Mills, and representatives of two of the charities at the Good Samaritans' Service, Kathryn Stevenson, right, for the Children's Law Centre, and Catherine Kinkaid of Homestart Newry and Mourne.Representatives of 200 Northern Ireland charities came together at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Sunday February 2 for the annual Good Samaritans’ Service.

At this, cheques raised by the 2013 Black Santa Appeal were distributed to the charities, who work with children, young people, families, communities, and in medicine and international relief.  Visit our Photo Album.

The Black Santa Appeal 2013 raised a total of £196,000. Welcoming everyone to the service, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, thanked the public on behalf of his team for their generosity.

In keeping with a tradition which began in 1976, Dean Mann and members of the Cathedral Chapter sat out on the Cathedral steps in the week before Christmas, wearing the black Anglican clerical coat which earned Dean Sammy Crooks, Belfast’s first Black Santa, his nickname.

Although funds for the appeal are collected throughout the year, Dean Mann said the bulk of the money is donated throughout the sit–out. “£196,000 has been collected since this time last year, most of this during the week of the sit–out, and this represents an increase of £4,000 on last year,” Dean Mann said.

Tara Mills presents a cheque to a representative ofthe Ballymena Area Children's Contact Centre.“Under current financial circumstances this is a wonderful result and recognises the great generosity of the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

Dean Mann explained that a proportion of the money raised would be donated to charities working on the ground in the Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, and in Syria, but the majority would go to local charities.

He thanked the representatives of so many groups for attending the service. “It is a great opportunity for you to come together and for us to collectively thank the givers,” Dean Mann said. “We stand outside for eight days and people are very generous, but they are keen to know where the money is going and this service connects us with the givers and with those working behind the scenes on the Black Santa Appeal and in organising today’s event .”

A represenative of the Northern Ireland Hospice is presented with a cheque by BBC journalist Tara Mills.Dean Mann added: “This is one of very few opportunities, perhaps a unique opportunity, for the representatives of 200 charities to come together under one roof and celebrate the work they do, helping tens of thousands of people in our community.”

The cheques were distributed by special guests, the Rev Canon Dr Heather Morris, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and BBC TV journalist Tara Mills.

Dr Morris encouraged the congregation to applaud Dean Mann and his team both on the steps of the Cathedral and behind the scenes. “The amount of money raised is a sign of the generosity of the people of this city and the inherent goodness of the people of this city,” Dr Morris said.

“Today is also a reminder of the tremendous good that you, our local charities, are doing in Northern and the impact you have on so many lives.”

Back to latest news

Site Directory