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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 10:07 GMT
Bishops in Holy Week shoe-shine
The Bishop of Birmingham, Rt. Revd David Urquhart, polishes shoes
The Bishop of Birmingham says the gesture is about serving others
Bishops are getting down on their knees this Maundy Thursday to shine the shoes of office workers and shoppers in towns and cities across the country.

The free act is inspired by the night of the Last Supper when Jesus washed his disciples' feet before his trial and crucifixion on Good Friday.

Bishop of Birmingham the Rt Revd David Urquhart said it showed the clergy were prepared to serve their communities.

Church figures in Northampton, Coventry and Leicester are also taking part.

The Rev Roger Morris, from Coventry, has set up a shoe-shining stall for three days over the Easter period.

He said: "We want to bless the people of Coventry by offering them something for nothing. We're not after money. We are not on a recruitment drive.

"We simply want people to associate the Church with the idea of good things, freely given - after all, that is at the heart of the Easter message."

Bishop Urquhart has been polishing the shoes of passers-by outside Birmingham cathedral.

He said: "The shoeshine is just a small demonstration that people who follow Jesus are prepared to roll up their sleeves and serve their communities.

"During my Lent visits around the diocese, I have been very pleased to meet many wonderful people whose faith inspires them to serve those around them in that which transform both communities and individual lives."


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