Golden Wellie award goes to Belfast Cathedral dean

Jimmy Cricket presents Dean John Mann with the Golden Wellington award for FebruaryJimmy Cricket has awarded the Golden Wellington award for February to Dean John Mann of St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

The well-known Northern Irish comedian presented the accolade to Dean Mann when he participated in a special service in the cathedral at the start of last month.

Jimmy’s role was to help distribute cheques to chosen charities from the money donated by the public during the latest Black Santa Sit Out in December.

The Black Santa tradition at Belfast Cathedral was started by Dean Sammy Crooks in 1976. Concerned at the emphasis being placed on necessary and costly building programmes at the cathedral, he decided to stand on the street in front of the building and beg for the poor and charitable causes.

With a small barrel in which donations could be placed, and dressed in the familiar black Anglican clerical cloak, Dean Crooks “sat out” each day of the week before Christmas. This started the tradition of Belfast’s Deans sitting out for charities. The local press described Dean Crooks as Belfast’s Black Santa and the description stuck.

The Golden Wellie is an award Jimmy created several years ago based on his trademark wellington boots.

Although it is a bit of fun in some ways, it also has a serious side as Jimmy uses the publicity from the award to acknowledge a good deed or significant contribution to a community.

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