This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Communities Secretary and Minister for Faith Eric Pickles wishes everyone a very merry Christmas.
Eric Pickles said:
Christmas gives us the chance to spend some quality time with our friends and family and look back on the previous year.
Amid the trees, tinsel and turkeys we must not forget the reason why we come together each year to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Christian faith is the backbone of local communities across the country and is at the heart of our national life.
Whilst in Britain today, everyone has the chance to worship freely our thoughts and prayers should turn to Christians being persecuted for their faith in foreign countries.
Treating others with fairness, tolerance and respect, helping those less fortunate, and striving to achieve the very best are just a few values which spring from the Christian ethos that flows through our great nation.
And we should all be immensely proud of the continuing role that the Christian faith continues to play in the United Kingdom.
I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and the very best for 2015.
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