Black Santa raises more than £140,000
THE annual Black Santa appeal has raised over £140,000 so far this year with that amount set to rise considerably in the new year.
The 'Black Santa' tradition at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast has been going since 1976 when it was started by the then Dean Sammy Crooks.
Since then successive Deans have kept the tradition going raising millions for charitable causes.
The current Dean the Very Reverend John Mann said it's a tradition he's proud to be a part of.
"It's a great tradition for Belfast to have and people really embrace it. Donations come from all communities and age ranges from little children, to people who look as though they don't have much to those who are obviously quite well heeled", Rev Mann said.
"And that's great because the money goes to charities from right across the spectrum as well.
"There was a great feeling about this year, I could sense that it was just that little bit more positive and there seemed to be more money about, which is purely anecdotal at this stage and we'll not know until it's all counted up.
"A lot of money will come in January from church groups and other collections but at the minute we're sitting reasonably comfortably to be as good if not better than last year", Rev Mann added
The final fund will be distributed in February to around 200 mostly local charities with a portion going to Christian Aid.