The Bishop of Blackburn has called on supermarkets not to be hesitant to stock a Church of England Easter egg that carries a message about Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
The Church said last month that some retailers maybe reluctant to sell the egg because of its overt Christian theme.
But Rt Revd Nicholas Reade said there would be high demand for it and encouraged stores to put it on their shelves.
The product, called the Real Easter Egg, is made from fair trade chocolate. Its box carries a message about Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and depicts a hill with three crosses on it.
The Bishop said: “With seven million people going to church at least once a month and another seven million supporting the ethos behind Fairtrade, there should be substantial demand”.
He added: “I recently came across a truly shocking statistic: more than 80 million Easter eggs are sold in Britain every year, and not one of them mentions the name of Jesus.”
The Bishop has written to all 250 Anglican clergy and 300 Church of England schools in Lancashire, urging them to get behind the Christian egg
He appealed to the clergy, saying: “Can I ask for your help with this, in encouraging church schools to consider their support, by commending this project to your parish community, and raising awareness in your local shops and supermarkets, to make these plans a reality?”
The eggs have been developed by Manchester-based The Meaningful Chocolate Company, working in consultation with a number of churches and dioceses.
Donations from the profits will be made to two charities: Baby Lifeline and Traidcraft Exchange.
Last September it was revealed that thousands of schools were adopting a standardised spring break, rather than moving it to coincide with Easter.
Research by The Daily Telegraph newspaper found that schools in a third of local authority areas had adopted a fixed two-week break.
Religious leaders criticised the move for downplaying the significance of Easter for the sake of convenience.
Local councils determine the holiday dates for state schools. A survey of half the local councils in England by The Daily Telegraph found that one third had adopted or were about to adopt a fixed spring break.
However, 46 out of 73 authorities said their schools’ spring holidays will continue to correspond to the date of Easter.