GREGGS the bakers has apologised for placing a sausage roll in the Nativity scene to advertise its Advent calendar.
The high-street chain faced a call for a boycott from the chief executive of the Freedom Association who claimed the product was “sick” and the firm had insulted Christianity in a way it would “never dare” other religions.
The £24 advent calendar is available in selected shops and behind each door is a voucher for one of its treats.
The firm’s decision to use a publicity image of the Three Wise Men around the crib with the baby Jesus replaced by a sausage roll has caused controversy.
A Greggs spokesperson said: “We’re really sorry to have caused any offence, this was never our intention.”
Simon Richards, CEO of the Freedom Association, called for a public protest.
Please boycott @GreggsOfficial to protest against its sick anti-Christian Advent Calendar. What cowards these people are: we all know that they would never dare insult other religions! They should donate every penny of their profits to @salvationarmyuk https://t.co/tAV7CRP7WM
— Simon Richards 🇬🇧 🏴#StandUp4Brexit (@simplysimontfa) November 15, 2017
He tweeted: “Please boycott GreggsOfficial to protest against its sick anti-Christian Advent Calendar.
“What cowards these people are: we all know that they would never dare insult other religions!
“They should donate every penny of their profits to Salvation Army”
The Rev Mark Edwards of St Matthew’s Church in Dinnington and St Cuthbert’s Church in Brunswick said Greggs had been “disrespectful”.
He told the Newcastle-based Chronicle: “It goes beyond just commercialism, it’s showing a total disregard and disrespect towards one of the greatest stories ever told, and I think people of all faiths will be offended by this.”
The advert created a debate on the Greggs Facebook page with a minority of comments complaining about the scene and most people welcoming the product.
Comedian Bob Mortimer wrote on Twitter: “Come on KFC … show Greggs the way … put a miniature Jesus in all your Christmas buckets.”
And agony aunt Philippa Perry joked in a tweet: “ANYWAY who cheated and opened 24th Dec BEFORE 24th Dec to find this out.”