The Good Samaritans Service, when funds raised by the annual Black Santa Sit-out are distributed to charities, will this year take place on the first Sunday in March.

This service is usually held on the first Sunday in February and this departure from tradition is due to the unique circumstances of the Cathedral having no Dean over the Christmas period.

Sunday February 4 is the date set for the installation of Dean-Elect, Archdeacon Stephen Forde, as Dean of Belfast and incumbent of the Cathedral Church of St Anne.

The new Dean will have the opportunity to meet representatives of the many charities helped by Black Santa at the Good Samaritans Service on Sunday March 4.

We have some special guests lined up to help Dean Forde hand over cheques at this service, which shifts the focus from those who donate to the Appeal to the charities whose fantastic work in communities around Northern Ireland it supports.

Charities who have applied for grants from the Black Santa fund will be notified in due course if their application has been successful.