Bishop to shine shoes at St Pancras Station

A bishop and a chaplain will be shining the shoes of commuters at London's St Pancras international train station as an act of servanthood on to mark Maundy Thursday today.

The event will raise money for the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, which is supporting impoverished communities in the midst of political crisis.

Shining shoes will be Bishop Michael Doe, General Secretary of the Anglican mission agency USPG, and St Pancras chaplain the Rev Jonathan Barker.

Rev Barker said: “We want to remind people through this event that, even though we are going through hard times in this country, there are people in other countries who have it even tougher.

"I was a parish priest for a year in Zimbabwe, in1991, and what is happening there now is completely disastrous.

"However, in Holy Week, we want to show that redemption is possible. USPG is working with the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, so that is a good charity to support."

Money raised at the shoe-shine will help to support projects run by the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, including orphanages, feeding programmes and hospitals.

Bishop Doe explained: “Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, on the evening before Good Friday. In doing so, he demonstrated to his followers that they should be servants, willing to live in humility and work for the good of others. This was his new commandment or, in Latin, ‘mandatum’ – from which comes the term ‘Maundy’ Thursday.”

He added: “In Jesus’ day washing feet was a task normally reserved for servants. Traditionally, many clergy wash the feet of their parishioners on Maundy Thursday. It was felt that shoe-shining was a modern equivalent.”

The shoe-shining will take place in the main concourse at St Pancras from 8 to 10am and 3 to 6pm.