Special Black Santa Appeal Launched for Ukraine
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Black Santa’s special spring appeal to support refugees from Ukraine arriving in Dublin & Glendalough was officially launched yesterday (Wednesday April 27) by Archbishop Michael Jackson. The Sit Out at St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, also welcomed a visit from the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney who dropped in to show his support.
Launching the appeal, the Archbishop thanked volunteers from St Ann’s for taking to the streets for this special sit out. “St Ann’s sees itself as ‘the church in the heart of the city with the city at its heart’. At a time when so many people who have fled the war in Ukraine are seeking refuge in our city, it has been the natural response of St Ann’s to take action,” he said. “Black Santa is best known for the sit out in the days before Christmas when they collect funds for charities who support the most vulnerable in the city. Now, in the season of Easter, the volunteers once again seek to support the vulnerable, those whose lives have been changed utterly as a result of the invasion of their home country.”
St Ann’s caretaker, Fred Deane, is leading the sit out and, along with friends and supporters of St Ann’s, he will be outside the church from 10am until 5pm each day until Saturday April 30. For those who are unable to make it into the city centre to donate in person, a donation button is available on the St Ann’s website https://stann.dublin.anglican.org/. As always, every cent donated to the Black Santa appeal goes directly to charity with no deductions for administration.
The sit out is raising funds for the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough’s U&Ukraine appeal. The dioceses have committed to responding practically to the crisis and the U&Ukraine initiative will help meet the needs of Ukrainian people arriving in Ireland. In consultation with community representatives and those working with refugees from Ukraine in the Dublin 1 area, the proposal is to utilise St George and St Thomas’s Church on Cathal Brugha Street as a centre to support those who have arrived here. It is also planned to facilitate worship in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition to provide pastoral and liturgical ministry to Ukrainians who have been displaced.
The U&Ukraine appeal was launched during Holy Week with parishes throughout Dublin and Glendalough being called to action. St Ann’s has responded by mobilising their Black Santa Sit Out out of season.
Black Santa at St Ann’s in Dublin is modelled on a similar appeal, which has been run each Christmas by successive Deans of St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast for many years. It became known as the Black Santa appeal because of the long heavy black cloaks worn by the clergy to keep out the winter cold.
The Archbishop said prayers for peace at the launch. You can read the prayers here.