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On Christmas Day spend time at church, spend time with family… and spend a little time shopping online, says Church of EnglandChurch spokesman says online shopping is OK, as long as you spend time with your family and at churchChristmas Day 'is not about self-denial'Online spending set to spike today as sales start early
00:37 GMT, 25 December 2012
The Church of England has urged people not to feel bad about shopping online on Christmas Day, despite concerns about the increased commercialisation of Christmas.
The statement, from CoE spokesman Steve Jenkins, comes after Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said that Christmas Day was a 'precious time' for families that was in danger of being overtaken by gadgets.
But Mr Jenkins urged people not feel guilty about spending a little time shopping online as long as they make time to go to a church service and spend time with their loved ones on Christmas Day.
He said: 'What really matters is that people make time to go to church, to have a family Christmas lunch, to open presents with their families – and maybe spend a bit of time online spending their new Christmas vouchers.'
Balance: Church spokesman Steve Jenkins said people should not feel ashamed of shopping online as long as they spend time with family and at church over the festive period
'Nothing is black and white in life and no-one is going to spend 24 hours shopping.
'This is a way for retailers to get the message out that they are open for business.
'People need variety in life.'
Nearly 1.5million people are expected to log on today as firms start their online sales in what will be the busiest ever Christmas Day for shopping.
Last-minute bargain hunters were
cashing in on internet sales yesterday as online retailers slashed their
prices earlier than the traditional Boxing Day sales.
Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said that Christmas Day was a 'precious time' for families that should not be overrun by presents and gadgets
The Marks & Spencer online sale
began at noon, with John Lewis following suit at 5pm and Currys/PC
World at 7pm.
Online giant Amazon will start its sale on Christmas morning, a day earlier than usual.
High-street spending in the run-up to Christmas has been 'acceptable but not exceptional', the retail industry trade association said today.
Spending over the final weekend before Christmas hit the predicted 5billion, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), but swathes of retailers still risk going under after the festive period.
As more shoppers flock to the web rather than the shops to buy presents, high-street retailers face the threat of closure, business recovery group Begbies Traynor warned.
Almost 140 firms were in a critical condition in the fourth quarter, meaning they are on the brink of collapse, while more than 13,700 were in 'significant' distress – up 35% during the three months to December 17, the Begbies Traynor report said.
But the BRC's head of media and campaigns Richard Dodd said poor accessibility on high streets, a lack of parking and weak consumer demand were to blame rather than an increase in online shopping.
But he acknowledged that some high-street retailers would 'undoubtedly' fail after Christmas.
'Retail sales over the weekend have been up to expectations but expectations were relatively modest,' said Mr Dodd.
'Christmas will turn out to be acceptable but not exceptional.'
He went on: 'There are a lot of myths around online retail. Ten per cent of overall retailing over the year comes from online shopping and actually it presents lots of opportunities for the retail sector.
'The lines are becoming increasingly blurred with things like click and collect.'