Dean of Belfast Rev John Mann to step down from St Anne's

The Dean of Belfast, the Very Reverend John Mann, is to leave St Anne's Cathedral to take up a post in England. Picture by Ann McManus
John Monaghan

THE Dean of Belfast, Rev John Mann, is to leave St Anne's Cathedral at Easter after almost six years to take up a post in England.

Rev Mann made the announcement during the 11am service yesterday.

He has been appointed the team rector at the Parish of Swanage and Studland in the Diocese of Salisbury.

The Dean said that he and his wife Helen had been "privileged" to serve in four parishes including St Anne's, to which he was appointed in June 2011.

The Dean said that the main reason for his departure was an upcoming period of transition at St Anne's, with the Cathedral Quarter undergoing change, which he said made "it a good time to go".

Reverend Mann said: "St Anne’s will rise to the opportunities and challenges that will face a new Dean and the Cathedral Board over the next five years. It is from this perspective a good time to go.

"We will also be moving closer to our family and I look forward not only to that, but to returning for a few years to my primary calling as a parish clergyman. It is a time to look forward for us all."

Meanwhile, more than 200 charities received cheques yesterday at the annual Good Samaritans service at the cathedral, from the proceeds raised during the traditional Christmas Black Santa charity appeal.

The total amount raised was more than £220,000 - the largest amount ever collected in the 40-year history of the sit-out at the cathedral.

The cheques were presented by special guests Dame Mary Peters and entertainer George Jones and ranged from £200 to £5,000, with a £30,000 grant for overseas work made to Christian Aid.

Two of the largest grants were to charities working with the homeless, with The Simon Community and the SoS Bus each awarded grants of £5,000.

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