THE Bishop of Bolton got down on his knees — to shine the shoes of shoppers and workers in Bolton town centre.

The Rt Rev Chris Edmondson was in Victoria Square to give people’s shoes a free polish and talk to them about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The event is a modern take on the story of Christian clergy washing feet on Maundy Thursday.

Nearly 2,000 years ago Jesus, on the night before he was crucified, hosted his last supper and washed the feet of his disciples, a task normally undertaken by servants. By washing their feet, Jesus demonstrated to them that his followers were to serve, bring healing and live in humility.

The aim of the shoe shine was to encourage people to care for and help others.

The Bishop said: “It’s been a great day. Some people understand why we are doing it, but for others it’s an opportunity to explain what Jesus did for others. Some people are very intrigued by it and want to know more.

“It’s important that we are out of the church and not locked up in a building and that we bring the message of Easter to everyone.”

Also taking part in the event was the Rev Alan Saunders, of St Peter’s Church in Halliwell.

He said: “We need to show the people of Bolton how much Jesus loves them and teach them what he has done for the community. As a Christian, Easter is a very important festival to me.

“I really appreciate that people are taking time out to come and encourage us.”

Jeff Wallwork, who is originally from Halliwell, but now lives in Somerset, had his shoes shined. He said: “It’s a great idea.

“It’s a good way of teaching people about Jesus Christ and brings everyone together.

Sue Rothwell, of Little Lever, added: “It’s always important to remind people about Jesus and we should never, ever forget the sacrifices He has made for us.

“To me, Maundy Thursday is about renewal, resurrection and hope — everyone can put their troubles behind them and make a fresh start.”

n See a video of the shoe shine at