27 March 2013
The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop
of Southwell and Nottingham, polishes shoes in Nottingham town
Church of England Bishops will be taking Easter to the streets
of towns and city centres as they get on their knees to shine the
shoes of passers-by on Maundy Thursday (March 28th).
In a modern interpretation on the tradition of Jesus washing the
feet of his disciples on the day before Good Friday, Bishops will
be taking the centuries old tradition of re-enacting foot washing
to the people as they shine the shoes of shoppers and city centre
workers. Simultaneously, other churches and cathedrals across the
country will continue the tradition of foot-washing in special
services, including the newly inaugurated Archbishop of Canterbury,
the Most Rev Justin Welby, at Canterbury Cathedral and Dr. John
Sentamu at York Minster.
In Worksop, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Southwell and
Nottingham, will join the Rt Rev Tony Porter, Bishop of Sherwood,
to shine shoes in the town centre, whilst the Rt Rev Chris
Edmonson, Bishop of Bolton, will be shining shoes in Victoria
Bishop Paul said: "This is a modern twist on the tradition of
foot washing, which in Jesus' day was done by the lowest servant of
all. Jesus challenged his disciples then, and all of us today, to
treat each other with such love and respect. We hope to have lots
of opportunities to explain this and the message of Easter, while
we offer a practical service to people in the town. Last year, we
were kept busy polishing people's shoes in Mansfield town centre.
We're very much looking forward to being in Worksop."Bishop Tony
explained: "Shoe shining in the public space is a brilliant
opportunity for Bishop Paul and myself to make the Gospel of Jesus
Christ visible. As people go about their business in the town
centre, they see bishops kneeling, shining shoes. Some just blink,
others ask searching questions. It's all done with a light touch
and plenty of banter, but it is very effective."