Dean Stephen Forde begins his sit-out on Wednesday and this special appeal will run throughout Lent, with the Dean collecting donations at the cathedral each Wednesday from 12pm to 3pm for six weeks.
This is not the first time Black Santa has responded to humanitarian crises in the world. In 1974, Dean Sammy Crooks collected funds for people who lost everything following major flooding in Bangladesh, and following the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, Dean Houston McKelvey raised almost £1 million for devastated communities.
The Dean will be donning his familiar Black Santa cloak, and this appeal will work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Christian Aid.
Thousands expected to take part in 'Derry Day' this weekend
Two new arrivals in DUP camp as UUP councillor Alan Lewis defects alongside serial party-switcher Henry Reilly
Brexit: There’s a fundamental con trick being played over Liz Truss’ Northern Ireland Protocol Bill says Lord Empey
BBC political editor Enda McClafferty sees the funny side after he’s caught on camera underdressed for live TV report
Rishi Sunak’s treasury ‘no friend of ours in fight against Protocol’: Paisley
Donations can also be made online via www.belfastblacksanta.org.
Dean Forde said: “As Christian people, and as human beings, we cannot watch the suffering of our closest neighbours and do nothing. When the fleeing mothers and children could be my own daughters or grandchildren, I cannot stand by.
“Let us remember that our Government has pledged to match every pound we raise with a further pound of government funding, doubling our personal giving. What we will give, we give for people just like ourselves, who have had to leave everything behind, not least their menfolk, and step into the arms of strangers across borders.
“Each of us struggles to know how best to respond to this crisis. The gift of open hearts and our generous giving is a powerful response in the face the destruction and despair of such a violent war.”
Elsewhere in NI, Hope For Youth Ministries based in Dromore have organised for 25 lorries to head to Poland with items for Ukrainian refugees arriving there.
Colin Tinsley said: “All of Northern Ireland has come together to help, from schoolchildren to grandparents. We’ve been blown away.”
Colin said that the demand for items such as clothing, blankets and toiletries had been met but financial help is ongoing to buy food. To date nearly £134,000 has been raised by Hope For Youth Ministries.
Mayor of Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council Glenn Barr has helped to organise a huge appeal in the borough, filling aid lorries bound for Poland and local retailer Gordon’s Chemists are donating £10,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist with their ongoing humanitarian aid efforts.
Ms Lockhart raised the issue having spoken with a number of church groups locally who were acutely aware of the dangers that exist for those endeavouring to help others.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.