Only a few decades ago, a high view of the Lord’s Day was standard among English-speaking evangelicals. Yet today, there are many Christians for whom the whole notion of one day set aside for God seems a quaint throw-back to Victorian values. It is easy to feel intimidated by the tide of this popular thinking within the evangelical world.
The Government has rebuffed calls to extend Sunday Trading hours in London.
The Knightsbridge Partnership Business Improvement District, which supports businesses such as Harrods, claimed that an extra 2,000 jobs would be created if Sunday Trading restrictions were lifted.
But a Government spokesman said: “There are currently no plans to change the Sunday Trading Act.” The law prevents large stores from opening for more than six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm on Sundays.
‘Not the solution’
Hina Bokhari, a Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly, told BBC Politics London that changing the law would be a “boost for the economy” and claimed it would increase tourism.
But Labour MP Ellie Reeves highlighted the importance of employees’ work-life balance, saying: “We all want to see our high streets revitalised but I’m not sure this is the right solution.”
In 2020, the then Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed to allow supermarkets to temporarily open for more than six hours on a Sunday as part of the coronavirus recovery Bill.
But the Government later ditched the plans after more than 50 Conservative MPs threatened to vote against them.
‘Sunday is special’
When the plans were mooted, The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said that “for people from all walks of life, Sunday is special and we need to keep it that way.
“Relaxing Sunday trading laws will put more pressure on people to work on Sundays, harming family life and further interfering with Sunday as a day of rest”.
Another attempt to change the law was made in 2016, where David Cameron’s government was defeated after 27 Conservative MPs rebelled.