I’ve been thinking. Yes, I know that is a dangerous thing but I’ve been thinking about clerical shoes. In particular, black clerical shoes.
Now, we all know black is best. In fact, black is the only colour for clerical shoes. Black and polished. For clergy and servers alike, nothing else will do. And I’m fine with that. I have on occasion broken said rule mainly for attention seeking purposes, it has to be said. Twice a year I have worn pink shoes, and once I forgot to take my purple ones off (and mucked up everything so that’ll teach me) and I once had to wear a pair of floral lilac Birkenstocks at a dear friend’s church while robed because I’d forgotten to take black ones with me.
Brown will never do. Not even on a Bishop. I have never worn brown shoes. Ever.
But as an altar server I was taught that black shoes must be worn with black cassocks. I even kept black shoes in church especially for this purpose, as did many others. When I was ordained I made the transition seamlessly. Black doc martens, black MBTs, black with a square toe, black with a buckle, and a sneaky wee pair of black suede FitFlop mules which I have occasionally worn in a hurry.
However… I’ve been thinking. The black shoe thing was obviously because clergy wore black cassocks. Now I very rarely wear my cassock. It only comes out for funerals and the odd ecumenical event or evensnog. Most of the time I wear a cassock alb which is white. So I just wondered, would it ever be correct to wear white shoes with a white cassock alb? (This is not just an excuse for more shoe shopping, honest.) You know, like nurse’s shoes? Or is that just too horrible to contemplate? Do let me know.
Here are some examples. Would you mind your priest appearing in any of these at the altar?