The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has attacked what he calls the ‘Christianisation of Christmas’ – the growing obsession at Christmas with the birth of Christ instead of regular attendance at the supermarket and the acquisition of material goods.
Speaking from a portable pulpit at a Tesco store at Canterbury, Dr Williams told astonished shoppers that the modern church had to move with the times and embrace modern concerns. ‘If Christ were born today, it would be over there somewhere between the fish counter and the pet food, not in a stable. Does Tesco have a stable? Asda? Waitrose?
Dr Williams said he hoped everyone would make a real effort this Christmas to boost the profits of the retail trade. ‘Do what you can,’ the Archbishop pleaded after blessing a new line in mince pies. ‘As our Lord might have said, every little helps.’