The Real Easter Egg

It's the perennial battle between faith and commercialism – does the true meaning of Easter lie in the sacrifice of God's only son and his startling emergence from the grave three days later, or in the stuffing of one's face with egg-shaped chocolate?

For the supermarkets, the answer has long been the latter, based on the logic that death by crucifixion simply doesn't market quite as well as eggs bearing the names of popular confectionery brands.

But what if there was some middle ground, something that would expose the Christ-Chocolate dichotomy as a false one? Enter The Meaningful Chocolate Company, a Manchester-based fair trade Christian chocolate company whose "Real Easter Eggs" will be adorning the shelves of Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Co-Op following a successful lobbying campaign by Church of England figures.

The campaign was organised by the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, who wrote to supermarkets to ask them to stock the eggs, which feature a message on the box explaining the Christian Easter story. Profits from the sale of the eggs are donated to charity.

Looking at this from the atheist side of the fence, it would be a little ungracious to sneer too loudly at an attempt to get a not-for-profit fair trade product onto supermarket shelves amid all the usual big-name brands and horse flesh. Good luck to them.

But it's worth flagging up the Rt Revd Priddis's message to Christian shoppers, urging them "to hunt out a Real Easter Egg and complain if they are not being stocked”.

By all means let the annual Christ-Chocolate contest commence, but must it turn into another forum for the filing of pointless complaints?