16 December 2013 - Black Santa returns to visit lady who knit his famous scarf!
Belfast’s Black Santa, the Very Rev John Mann, took a break from his daily sitout on the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral on Friday to visit a very special lady.
Thanks to Florence Ringland, aged 95, Dean Mann has had a nice warm neck over the three years that he has been Black Santa. (see below)
Florence lives in the Bethany Nursing Home in Osborne Park, where Dean Mann held regular services during his time as rector of St John’s, Malone. She began knitting the lovely multi–coloured scarf for the Dean when she first heard he was leaving for St Anne’s, and had it finished in time for Dean Mann’s first sitout in December 2011.
And Florence’s needles have produced what has probably become the most famous scarf in Belfast at Christmas time, as Dean Mann has worn it with pride every day on the Cathedral steps and for numerous photo shoots and television interviews!
Florence was delighted to see Dean Mann when he called in on Friday afternoon, and he was able to tell her that this year’s appeal had that day passed the £100,000 mark.
“£100,000! That’s a lot of money,” Florence commented. “I’m glad you are still wearing the scarf as long as it does the job!”
The Black Santa sitout for charities, which began on December 16, continues at St Anne’s on Saturday and finishes on Christmas Eve.
15 December 2011 - Dean presented with his Sit-Out scarf
Every Dean of Belfast is all too well aware that the wind-swept steps of St Anne's Cathedral can be a very cold place indeed, despite the warm and generous response of people from right across Northern Ireland.
However thanks to Florence Ringland, aged 93, Dean Mann had a nice warm neck during his hours on the Cathedral steps collecting money for local charities. A resident of Bethany Nursing Home in Osborne Park, Florence has knitted a lovely multi–coloured scarf for the Dean when she heard he was leaving St John’s Malone for St Anne’s.
Dean Mann held regular services in the Bethany Home for the residents during his time at St John’s, and when he returned on December 15 for a Carol Service Florence presented him with his timely gift.
The Dean, seen putting Florence's scarf to good use on the steps of the Cathedral during the Sit out.