‘Black Santa’ Christmas sit-out begins in Dublin

Funds raised by annual event at St Ann’s Church will go to homeless

Funds raised by this year's Black Santa sit-out at St Ann's Church on Dublin's Dawson Street will go to help the city's homeless.

The sit-in was launched at 2pm on Wednesday by the Church of Ireland Arcbishop of Dublin Most Rev Michael Jackson and Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

The vicar of St Ann's, Canon David Gillespie, joined by clerical colleagues from around the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough, will remain outside the city centre church from 10am until 6pm each day until Christmas Eve collecting money for homeless charities.

They will be joined each lunchtime over coming days by choirs, including from Castleknock National School, St James's primary school, Francis Street CBS, Catholic University School, the Seafield Singers, the Brook Singers, the Dublin Male Voice Choir, the Line Up Choir, Taney Parish Junior Choir, Kildare Place National School choir, and choirs from Loreto College, John Scottus School, the Revenue Choir, and the Steadfast Band.

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This is the 14th year that the Black Santa (so named because the clergy involved wear black cloaks) sit-out appeal has been held at St Ann’s and to date it has raised almost €400,000 for charity.

Last year just under €30,000 was distributed to Trust, the Salvation Army, the Simon Community and the Peter McVerry Trust, all of which work with the homeless. Other charities to benefit included Protestant Aid, Barnardos, St Vincent de Paul, the Laura Lynn Foundation and Solas Project.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times