from St Anne's

Busy first day for Black Santa!

Black Santa had a busy first day on the steps of Belfast Cathedral, with a round of media interviews and a host of special visitors, including Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Deirdre Hargey; actor and comedian Tim McGarry, representatives of the Cathedral Quarter BID who donated some lanterns to create a warm glow on these dark nights, and the President of the Ulster Reform Club, Andy Wells.

Children, taxi drivers and passers-by all stopped for a chat with Black Santa himself, Dean Stephen Forde, and his little helpers (Canons and fellow clergy) who have been keeping him company. PHOTO ALBUM

It was a bright and frosty morning and the Dean began his first full Sit-out in good spirits (he did a few stints on the steps last year as Black Santa in training!)

Dean Forde expressed thanks to everyone who stopped by today, whether to make a donation, record an interview or take photographs to publicise the charity Sit-out, or simply to say hello.

This, the 42nd Black Santa Sit-out, continues until Christmas Eve, with the exception of December 23 when the Dean will be busy with Carols for the City at 3.30pm – to which everyone is warmly invited.

Admission to the Cathedral is free throughout the period of the Sit-out, though Black Santa will be very happy to accept donations!”

Funds raised will be distributed to local charities at the annual Good Samaritans’ service in February. If you would like to make a donation, but can’t get to Donegall Street, you can donate online at