Most of us will spend Christmas Day enjoying a roast dinner with our family and friends. However, some of us will be working or be away from home.
A McDonald’s branch to be open on Christmas Day, has been criticised by church leaders.
Parish Rvd Wayne Stillwell said that the decision to open that McDonalds showed “the continuing decline of Christendom in the country” and his reaction was “one of great sadness”.
He added, “I’m sad that we’ve got to this point in our society where something that means as much as Christmas seems to mean so little.
“It shows the continuing decline of Christendom in our country.”
Rev Stillwell, of St Mary’s Church, Chaddesden, explained: “Some people, who provide essential services, have to work on Christmas Day – but I don’t feel that those employed by a fast-food restaurant should be in the same situation.”
The manager who has volunteered to manage the McDonalds, Shahban Rehmat, said no staff who did not want to work that day were being forced to and that he was expecting a steady trade throughout the day.
Rehmat said, “It’s the first time the restaurant will open on December 25 and it’s for the convenience of our customers.
“There are people who work on Christmas Day and they would normally struggle to find somewhere to eat.
“I think the move will prove popular with non-Christians, and several customers have asked us whether we will be open.
“It’s difficult to say how many we are expecting but I think there will be a steady trade.”
Dr John Davies, the Dean of Derby, said he had “no argument” with the move.
He said, “Mary, Joseph and the babe were lucky to find an innkeeper who helped them find a place to stay. He provided hospitality for them.
“Families and friends should come together at Christmas, and if they want to do that in McDonald’s then who is the Church to object?’
A McDonalds spokesperson said many of the stores are franchises, and added, “It is up to the individual store and their staff members which individuals work on Christmas Day.
“We expect there to be about 60 stores in the UK that remain open this year, all in areas where there is a high demand for us to stay open, and where there are a large number of people who perhaps do not celebrate Christmas.
“There have always been a small number of our stores which choose to open on December 25.”
The fast food restaurants which are open on Christmas Day will all have supplies, commercial restaurant insurance, and staff running the outlets, which will give customers choice about whether they want to eat there. It certainly doesn’t bother us that they are open. Who knows… we might get a bit peckish after our Christmas dinner!