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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 05:53 GMT 06:53 UK
Bishops give a shine to tradition
Dr Rowan Williams
It will be a modern twist on of the tradition of washing of feet
Two Church of England bishops are offering a novel twist on a Maundy Thursday tradition.

The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Ian Cundy, and the Bishop of Brixworth, the Rt Rev Frank White, are rolling up their sleeves to shine shoes.

The pair will be offering the service free to passers-by in Peterborough in a modern version of the Maundy Thursday tradition of washing feet.

It commemorates Christ washing the feet of the 12 disciples at the Last Supper.

The shoe-polishing won't convert people but it might cause them to stop and think
The Archdeacon of Northampton
The Archdeacon of Northampton, the Ven Michael Chapman, who served as a Royal Navy Chaplain with the Royal Marines, will join the group of shoe shiners near the Guildhall in the city.

"Washing feet is a bit impractical in a chilly Peterborough marketplace," he said.

"This is a modern alternative.

"We are called to emulate the life of Christ in our faltering way, and are here to serve the world rather than vice versa.

"The shoe-polishing won't convert people but it might cause them to stop and think."

Event organiser the Rev Tim Sledge said: "We'll have a few placards up, and we hope people will ask us about Easter.

"But it's not a proselytising exercise, it's a free act of love - and if that is not synonymous with Easter I don't know what is."

Bishop refuses to throw in towels
07 Apr 04  |  South Yorkshire



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