BY Ryan McDougall | December 23 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6 news local

Best foot forward as ‘Shoes brothers’ make it big

A Catholic priest and a Church of Scotland minister have released a ‘hit single’ on how to save the planet, partially inspired by papal encyclical Laudato Si.

Fr Willie Boyd, parish priest of St Mary’s and St John Ogilvie’s churches, Irvine, and Rev Neil Urquhart, minister of Fullarton Church, have worked together over the last decade, releasing songs each year under the names such as ‘The Shoes Brothers’ and ‘Min in Black,’ playing on the Blues Brothers and the popular film franchise Men in Black.

Their latest single, Come To Save Our Planet, aims to raise awareness on the environmental crisis, and is played out in a YouTube video of the two clergymen dressed in their black suits, donning sunglasses and their MIB snapback caps.



Fr Boyd said: “This year we wanted to go with an ecological theme. The idea is about our common home, caring for the home that we people inhabit, so that’s really the importance behind it.”

The Kilmarnock-born priest added that the theme was partially inspired by the work of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si and how each of us have a responsibility to care for the earth, protect, preserve and oversee it.

“The themes are about renewing, recycling and keeping up with what Pope Francis was saying in Laudato Si. It’s important to look at the environment from a Faith perspective. We try and see it from God’s desire for people and the earth. Earth is like a mother, and we need to look after Mother Earth.”

Fr Boyd said that the idea had been largely Rev Urquhart’s, crediting his ‘very artistic imagination.’



The video features local school pupils, including from St Mark’s Primary, and various Irvine-based environmental groups, bringing members of the town’s community together.

Fr Boyd said: “It’s a serious message with a light touch. We want to get the message across without being too heavy about it, make people smile and dance. There are many elements of the community involved—part of the theme is bringing people together.”

Fr Boyd revealed that his friendship with Rev Urquhart, which has spanned over 20 years, highlights the strong sense of ‘Christian community’ in Irvine.

He said: “Rev Urquhart and I get on really well, but that’s the case with all churches in Irvine. There’s a Church of Scotland next door to us and we all get on really well; there’s nothing contrived about it.

“There’s a real sense of Christian community here, and there have been ecumenical links for a long time, which are increasingly brought to the surface at Easter and Christmas.”



As the SCO went to press, the video had been viewed almost 3,500 times and shared countless times on social media since it was posted on December 4.

Fr Boyd said: “We hadn’t set out with that target, we just did it in the hope that people in this locality would get the message. We’re amazed that so many news companies have picked it up. But no, we never set out to make it a big thing. We just do it, and what ever happens, happens”

To watch The Shoes Brothers’ new music video, search #ComeToSaveOurPlanet on

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