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Home  >  News  >  In Search of the King - in Irvine


In Search of the King - in Irvine

Wednesday November 16

Irvine’s dancing clergy are celebrating the good in their town with a series of films this Christmas.

The Rev Neil Urquhart, minister of Fullarton Parish Church, and Father Willie Boyd of St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church – otherwise known as the Shoes Brothers – along with the Rev Tendai J Mbaserah, pastor at Kilmarnock Baptish Church, have created ‘Are Ye Wise?’, in which they play wise men searching for Jesus in the town.

Conceived as a weekly ‘vlog’, the series begins tonight, and will culminate with the final film and a new song, to be premiered on December 8.

Neil said: “Each year we try to make something of the run-up to Christmas, to engage the people of Irvine in celebrating the reason for the season. It’s taken various forms, but this year we are doing something we did before in 2003 but didn’t have the technology to do properly.”

In the films, the wise men find themselves off target and are searching Irvine for any sign of the King – stopping at anywhere which suggests royal connections, such as Burger King and the PeKING Chef takeaway. At each stop they persuade bystanders to join the Are Ye Wise dance.

They meet the Provost of Irvine and visit the Royal Academy secondary school, before trying the maternity hospital. There, they learn of several babies with the name King, but not the king they’re looking for.

Finally, they’re about to give up when it’s suggested to them that they should be looking wherever people are caring and sharing.

Neil said: “There’s a lovely verse in Hebrews [10:24] where the writer says ‘spur one another on towards love and good deeds’, and that word ‘spur’ literally means ‘provoke’, and that’s what we’re trying to do: to celebrate the good going on in the town and spur others to join in with that ‘giving something back’ spirit.”

It is the most ambitious project yet for the duo, who have collaborated for years in an attempt to break down barriers in the community and fight sectarianism. Last year they worked with prisoners in Greenock Jail on a spoof called ‘the Shoeshank Redemption’.

Neil added that they had found great support in the local community, even among people who are not Christians. “We are at the stage in our ministries – I have been here 27 years, Willie has been here for 20 – where we have a huge network of trust in the town, and we always involve the community in our projects.

“Jesus the King is no longer in the manger but active in the world, wherever people are caring and sharing for one another and whether people recognise him or not. People who don't recognise the Christian perspective are happy to join in because they see that wherever people are caring and sharing it’s humanity at its best.”

The first video is released tonight (November 16) at 5.30pm, with the others to follow on November 23 and December 1. The final video, which will condense the first three, and song will be premiered at a party at Fullarton ConneXions (the parish church) at 6.30pm on December 8.

You will be able to see the videos on the YouTube channel Fullonart and the Shoes Brothers Dance – SBD Facebook page.


William McConnell - Saturday, November 19th, 2016

“Absolutely brilliant!...hoping to link this video through to our church website on the run up to Christmas, keep up the great and informative work!”

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