Youngsters shine in Holy Week

Published on: 05 May 2014

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SHOPPERS at the Co-op in Downend were surprised to be offered hot cross buns and a chance to have their shoes polished – all free of charge.

The kind gesture was made by youngsters at Christ Church Downend in a modern take on the act of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before his trial and crucifixion on Good Friday.

The young people from the Faith youth group were celebrating Maundy Thursday – the day before Jesus died when he celebrated the Jewish festival of Passover with his friends. 

Before that meal Jesus memorably washed his disciples’ feet. The youth group transferred Jesus’ model of serving others to modern times – and a rather colder climate – with the idea of shoe shining.

The act of shoe shining in Holy Week is to illustrate how people who follow Jesus are prepared to serve their community without payment or motive.

One member, 11-year-old Rhys, said: “On Maundy Thursday Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and shared bread with them so we shined shoes and shared hot cross buns.”

Luke, also aged 11, said: “Meeting all of the people coming in and out of Co-op was very nice and hearing people say ‘thanks for the work you are doing’ was very uplifting.”

Siân Harris, one of the leaders of the Faith youth group, said: “People in Downend seemed to like the idea. Some told us how pleased they were to have chosen to put on their leather shoes that day, while others talked about how smart they would look for family gatherings over the Easter weekend.

“The hot cross buns were a big hit too, with a dozen packs disappearing within about an hour and a half.

“It was a great experience for the young people involved.”

For more information on Faith group activities, visit www.christchurchdownend.com/youth

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