Video: 'Shoes' fit in bid to beat bigotry

A PAIR of dancing clergymen have taken their anti-sectarian campaign to the Scottish Parliament.

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Church of Scotland minister Reverend Neil Urquhart and Catholic priest Father Willie Boyd were at Holyrood to launch a new film aimed at stamping out bigotry.

'A Bridge Too Far' features the clergymen's alter-egos - 'The Shoes Brothers' - as well as several West of Scotland MSPs, including Anne McTaggart who held a parliamentary reception event in their honour.

The duo, from Irvine, have been touring schools to encourage pupils to stamp out bigotry by watching their tongue-in-cheek Youtube hit which has been viewed by thousands of people.

Now anti-sectarian group Nil by Mouth has agreed to distribute copies of the film and education packs to schools and youth projects across Glasgow and west central Scotland.

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said: "The Shoes Brothers' film is certainly the best we have ever seen about tackling sectarianism and embracing difference.

"The 'Brothers' deliver a simple yet powerful message: we get more when we join in with others.

"We are honoured to be able to make their pack more widely available."

Reverend Urqhart welcomed the support from the Glasgow-based charity.

He said: "We are delighted by the feedback we have received from the film and really pleased that it will now be available to more people.

"Willie and I have been friends for nearly 20 years and, in schools, we hope to speak to children who aren't yet caught up in the divide and show them what can be achieved by joining in.

"It's all about respecting differences, building bridges and celebrating community and the much that we have in common not least the ability to laugh at ourselves."

Reverend Urquhart and Father Boyd's film boasts cameos from Ms McTaggart and parliamentary colleagues Patricia Ferguson, James Kelly, John Wilson, Christina McKelvie, Neil Bibby, Mary Fee, Margaret Burgess and Margaret McCullough.

Ms McTaggart said: "Sectarianism is something we can defeat in a generation if we are all brave enough to follow the Shoes Brothers' example and focus our energy on building bridges, not barriers, between people.

"The dance proved to be a smash hit here at Holyrood, and I would encourage more people throughout Glasgow to become involved."

peter.swindon@eveningtimes.co.uk

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