‘Black Santa’ councillor stages chilly sit-in to collect for charities

Sam Crooks at the charity sit out at Christ The Cornerstone Church ENGPNL00120121218122120
Sam Crooks at the charity sit out at Christ The Cornerstone Church ENGPNL00120121218122120
0
Have your say

A cold-hardy councillor is to stage a sit-in outside a church for the whole of next week to raise cash for charity.

Sam Crooks will brave the chills to collect donations from members of the public for his annual Cornerstone Christmas appeal.

This will be his fourth sit-in and his takings have soared from £6,000 in 2012 to almost £15,000 last year.

This year the benefitting charities will include Age UK, Citizens’ Advice, The MK Hardship Fund, Open Door, The Food Bank and CAFOD, which provides clean water to an African village.

Mr Crooks, who stresses that his mammoth charity effort is non-political, is following in the footsteps of his father, the late Sammy Crooks who was Dean of Belfast Cathedral.

Motived by an earthquake in Pakistan in 1976, Dean Sammy sat outside the cathedral to collect cash in a barrel every day for a week just before Christmas. Because he wore his traditional clerical cloak, he was dubbed Black Santa and his collection became a tradition that remains today.