In Depth

Greggs apologises for swapping Jesus with a sausage roll in Nativity Scene

Photo shows a savoury pastry in a manger, watched over by three wise men

Greggs the bakers has apologised for swapping Jesus for a sausage roll in a promotional image for its advent calendar.

The photo, which shows a nativity scene comprising of three wise men gathered around a pastry, has caused consternation.

Rev Mark Edwards, vicar at St Matthew’s Church and St Cuthbert’s Church in Newcastle, told the Evening Chronicle he was appalled by the photo.

“This seems very disrespectful towards the nativity scene,” he said. “I would have thought Greggs was better than that and I think if they tried that with any other faith, you can imagine the outcry there would be – and rightly so.”

The advert also attracted criticism online. Twitter user Beth Rosenberg asked: “Out of interest do you think the people at Greggs understand that Jesus was Jewish and serving up a pork sausage roll in the manger is unbelievably inappropriate?”, while James Mather said: “I’m no prude, but equating Jesus, a Jew, to a sausage roll really is deeply offensive on all sorts of levels.”

There was also a call to boycott Greggs from the chief executive of the Freedom Association, which describes itself as a “non-partisan, centre-right, libertarian pressure group”.

Some people, however, saw the funny side:

Greggs has apologised for the image, saying it hadn't planned to upset anyone.

“We're really sorry to have caused any offence, this was never our intention,” it said.

But others detected an ulterior motive:

The photograph “was one of a number of publicity photos for the calendar, including a Santa with flakes of pastry in his beard, a Greggs shop in a snow globe and a woman puckering up to kiss what appears to be a chicken slice under the mistletoe”, says The Independent.

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