British troops returning from Afghanistan have been given a “sweet welcome home” with an Easter egg that includes the message of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
The 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment – known as the Vikings – have received the chocolate treat, called the Real Easter Egg.
Army chaplain Revd Martin Groves, who organised the gift, said: “I can think of no better welcome than an Easter egg which has the Bible story on the box and its message of hope and new life.
“These men, women and their families have sacrificed a great deal to serve their country.
“They know what it means to be in a hard place and it is right that we should say thanks to them in a fun but meaningful way.”
Inside the egg’s box is the Easter story, while on the front of the box are three crosses.
A Bible text about Jesus’ resurrection is inside the lid.
Revd Groves worked alongside The Meaningful Chocolate Company – which created the eggs – and haulage company Circle Express to give the eggs to the troops.
David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: “We are delighted to help by making a special batch of our Real Easter Eggs for the troops.”
This year, for the first time, supermarket giant Tesco stocked the Real Easter Egg.
It was stocked in 450 of Tesco’s largest stores, with other supermarkets also making the product available.
Mr Marshall, who described the supermarket take-up as a “breakthrough”, commented: “Our aim is to change the Easter egg market forever by making it more spiritual, more generous and more faithful.”
In 2010 it was revealed that supermarkets were reluctant to sell the eggs, but The Meaningful Chocolate Company still sold hundreds of thousands through mail order.