Provincial press releases

Free shoe polishing for commuters

Commuters from Abergavenny were give a free shoe polish at the train station to mark Maundy Thursday today.

Modern-day monks living in the community offered the service to people travelling to work in a re-enactment of Christ’s act of washing the feet of his disciples.

Traditionally, clergy wash the feet of parishioners during services on Maundy Thursday so polishing shoes is an extension of that practice.

Taking part were Jennii Shaw and Joanna Hollins, Sisters in the Holywell Community with the Prior, Canon Mark Soady and Sub-Prior, Fr Tom Bates.

Canon Mark said, “We do this every year as a service to commuters and it is very popular. Commuters tend to wear smart shoes which need a lot of polishing! It’s amazing the number of people who offer us money for doing it because they usually have to pay for these things and the church often goes out with a begging bowl. But we’re doing it for free, as Christ gave us his love free, and that just bowled people over I think. I hope it will remind people about the significance of Maundy Thursday and the true meaning of Easter.”

This evening, the team will be washing the feet of parishioners at St Mary’s Priory Church in a service to remember Christ’s last supper with his disciples. Then they will lead a procession through the town centre to Holy Trinity Church. At Holy Trinity they will hold the Watch, replicating the watch of the disciples when Jesus was at prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The photos attached show:

  • Joanna (left) and Jennii polishing shoes with Fr Tom (left) and Canon Mark;
  • Communters having their shoes polished.

More information on services at Abergavenny