Greggs, the largest bakery chain in the United Kingdom, wanted to do something special for the holidays. So they created their own advent calendar. Instead of the usual chocolate treats though, the calendar features coupons that can be torn off and taken into Greggs in exchange for different menu items, including their popular sausage roll.
24 days of Greggs? Ho ho HECK YES. Pick up our advent calendar in selected shops from 20th Nov and countdown to the big day in style! pic.twitter.com/H56ncBUFRT— Greggs (@GreggsOfficial) November 13, 2017
Just one problem. In an attempt to inject a little humor into the holidays, the calendar featured a picture of a Nativity scene where the baby Jesus was replaced by a sausage roll, a move that left some Christians upset and others calling for a boycott. Simon Richards, chief executive of the Freedom Association ( a group which describes itself as a “non-partisan, centre-right, libertarian pressure group”) accused the bakery chain of being “cowards” and recommended they donate their profits to the Salvation Army.
Offended, yes. As a christian, they've depicted my Lord and Saviour as a sausage roll. Makes me sad in fact that today we openly mock people's faith.— Matthew Childs (@mattchilds90) November 16, 2017
Just telling my kids to boycott #Greggs. @GreggsOfficial— Catholic State Advocate (@LaCatholicState) November 15, 2017
“This seems very disrespectful towards the Nativity scene,” said Rev Mark Edwards, the vicar at St Matthew’s Church in Dinnington and St Cuthbert’s Church, in Brunswick, “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.”
Other people seemed to think the picture, and the subsequent outrage, was pretty funny. Some even tried fanning the flames a bit.
Greggs' PR worked on me. A delicious Baby Jesus to go with my soup today #Greggs #PRstunt pic.twitter.com/sGKrW7X8mG— Lisa_McGauley (@Lisa_McGauley) November 15, 2017
I never thought I would see the sentence 'Greggs sorry for replacing Jesus with sausage roll'. One of those moments that makes you glad to be alive #Greggs #sausagerolljesus pic.twitter.com/cfQMUnR7hb— Emma Weinbren (@EmmaWeinbren) November 15, 2017
Once in royal David's city— Sean (@csi_bletchley) November 15, 2017
Stood a lowly cattle shed
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for his bed
Mary was that mother mild
Sausage Roll, her little child#Greggs pic.twitter.com/6qgw8pDgP8
For its part, Greggs has officially apologized: “We’re really sorry to have caused any offense, this was never our intention,” said a spokesperson for the company.
They currently have no plans to withdraw the calendar, which sells for £24 ($32 U.S.).
H/T the Guardian