Commuters in Birmingham yesterday received a 21st century-style footwash as the Bishop of Birmingham shined their shoes.
The event outside St Philip's Cathedral was organised to celebrate Maundy Thursday - the day when Jesus washed his disciples' feet at the Last Supper on the evening before his crucifixion. It is also the day when clergy from the diocese gather in the Cathedral to renew ordination vows.
Commuters walking to work from 8.15am were offered the treat from the Bishop, the Rt Rev David Urquhart, the Dean and church leaders.
The Bishop said: "Maundy Thursday is the day on which the church remembers the Passover meal Jesus shared with his friends and followers.
"That meal was the foundation for the meal we still share in churches today - Holy Communion.
"But before that meal, Jesus washed the dusty, dirty feet of his companions and spoke about the need for leaders to be humble like a servant - a model the church has also tried to follow for the last 2,000 years.
"The shoeshine is just a small demonstration that people who follow Jesus are prepared to roll up their sleeves and serve their communities."
During Lent, the 40 days of preparation for Easter, the Bishop of Birmingham travelled around the diocese praying with people in the community as part of the "Too Deep for Words - Praying with Jesus" initiative.
He said: "During my Lent visits around the diocese, I have been very pleased to meet many wonderful people whose faith inspires them to serve those in ways which transform both communities and individual lives."
Some 200 clergy gathered in St Philip's Cathedral for a service, which included the blessing of oils used for confirmations and for anointing people seeking healing and the renewal of clergy ordination promises.
Throughout the Midlands, thousands will join others across the globe on Good Friday to reenact Jesus' final journey before his crucifixion.
The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Day - traditionally called Low Saturday, Holy Saturday or Easter Eve - is a day when many celebrations are put on hold, marking the time followers believe Jesus descended to the dead.
On Easter Monday, celebrations will be under way early with a number of dawn services in the Midlands.
Many of these will include the lighting of bonfires and the new Paschal Candle - the largest candle in a church, which will be used until Easter 2009 and from which baptism candles will be lit throughout the year.