The 'Black Santa' tradition at Belfast Cathedral was started 45 years ago by Dean Sammy Crooks. The local press described Dean Crooks as Belfast's Black Santa.
All the money gathered is donated to local charities with a proportion given to Christian Aid. The charities supported are those with an annual income of £150,000 or less. The Black Santa Appeal focuses support for those local charities giving support on the front line of the "cost of living crisis", and also charities working with refugee communities in support of those who have found sanctuary among us, those from Ukraine to Syria to Afghanistan. Other charities supported work in the fields of medical research; those caring for children, youth and the elderly; the improvement of employment opportunities for young people and a host of small charities which cannot afford paid fund-raisers. All the funds raised in the days before Christmas are distributed to charities at the Good Samaritans’ Service, held in the Cathedral early in the year following each Sit-out.
The Cathedral also accepts donations large and small. We make sure they are put to good use...
As you can imagine, maintaining a large and beautiful building like Belfast Cathedral is a costly business. Every day we are delighted to welcome visitors for tours of St Anne’s, but we also seek to raise funds to help with the ongoing expenses. Donations made here will help us stay open and further the work to which we are called by Christ in a city that needs this Cathedral to be active and involved in its life.