from St Anne's

2023 Good Samaritans Service 3.30pm Sunday 5 February

Belfast Cathedral - 2023 Good Samaritans Service 3.30pm Sunday 5 February

At 3.30pm on Sunday 5th February, the 2023 Good Samaritans Service will take place at Belfast Cathedral.

In the week before Christmas 2022, the Dean of Belfast as Belfast's Black Santa, raised £130,000 with the help of the cathedral Canons and other members of the cathedral family, and the on-line support given by the team at Price Waterhouse Cooper. Through the week the Dean was also assisted by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Christina Black, and Northern Ireland Office Minister of State, Steve Baker, among many others.

On Sunday afternoon 5th February, with the help of the cathedral canons, and also Mr Tim McGarry, the Dean will distribute the full amount of £130,000 to 126 local charities.

This year special focus has been given to charities working specifically with refugee communities across the province. Innovative work by 11 small local charities will be celebrated within the service. There has also been a focus on charities which are working at the forefront of the "cost of living crisis" to serve communities in financial need.

These are in addition to a wide spectrum of local charities which work across all sectors of need, and are found in communities across the entire province.

We will also welcome some of our principal sponsors to the service. The full service will also be signed for those who are heard of hearing.

This year all the charities receiving awards are those with an annual income of £150,000 or under. This ensures that the maximum impact can be achieved for many of our smaller charities.

With the music of the choir Cantemus, under the direction of Tony Morrison, and organist Stephen Hamill, the afternoon's service will be a celebration of the work done by each organisation, and every individual who works within these charities.

Finally, under a principle established from the very first Dean's Sitout in 1976, representatives from Christian Aid will receive 10% of the total raised for their international work for refugees and work in the world's most impoverished communities.

The £130,000 raised in the week before Christmas is in addition to the £56,000 raised by the Dean and the Black Santa team during Lent 2022 to give direct support to organisations working with refugees from the Ukraine conflict. This means that from the  generosity of the people of Belfast and across the province, a total of £186,000 was raised by the Black Santa Appeal in 2022, despite the harsh economic situation.

Our thanks to everyone who gave so generously to the Black Santa Appeal in 2022.

For further details on the 2022 Black Santa Appeal see: