(ACNS) A beloved Anglican dean, known as Belfast’s Black Santa because he raised more than two million pounds for Third World and local charities, has died.
Dressed in a black coat and black balaclava to ward off the cold, the Very Rev. Jack Shearer, Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Belfast, sat outside his cathedral at Christmas in every kind of weather, to raise funds for charity. He did this for 15 Christmases.
Although he received gifts as high as 15,000 pounds from individual donors, Dean Shearer said the biggest gift came from an unemployed man in his 30s with his two sons, who apologized because he could only give five pounds.
Archbishop Robin Eames said that Dean Shearer inspired the whole community not only at Christmas, but also by encouraging a partnership between the Anglican St. Ann’s Cathedral and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, St. Peter’s, in very difficult times.
Dean Shearer was 74 when he died of a heart attack on New Year’s Eve.
Jean Garnsworthy, widow of Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy, died on Jan. 10 at the age of 73.
Her late husband served as bishop of the diocese of Toronto from 1972 to the date of his death, Jan. 26, 1990.
Mrs. Garnsworthy leaves two children, Peter and Kathy, and grandchildren ,Penny and Hugh.