Look to retail adverts for meaning of festive giving, says Suffolk Bishop

Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich. ANL-151217-154408001
Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich. ANL-151217-154408001
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A Suffolk Bishop has said that festive commercial adverts by retailers can help us realise the true meaning of giving at Christmas.

In his Christmas message the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said he had been moved by the theme of the Christmas 2015 TK Maxx TV advertisement.

The Love Your Neighbour campaign by the retailer advocates festive gift-giving for the neighbours you know, and the ones you don’t.

Despite not necessarily shopping with the company, Bishop Martin believes the advert sends as important seasonal message.

He said: “This particular commercial reminds us that at Christmas we are all drawn into relationship with each other, even people we may not know.

“Acts of kindness to strangers are really important as we give our time, or presents, to help others.

“With random acts of kindness to those who are not able to give in return, the real gift is in giving.

“We see this across Suffolk where our school children have been filling shoe boxes with presents for refugee families.

“When people in our county respond to people in need from around the world, or support foodbanks run for those struggling locally, or reach out to include those living alone in our Christmas celebrations, we help those we don’t know, and yet we find that we are the ones who receive.

“When we celebrate the birth of Jesus we celebrate God’s gift of life and love for everyone. When we give to those we don’t know - whether those near us whom we see every day or those far away whose need we hear of on the news - we are wonderfully expressing our shared humanity.

“Surprise someone you don’t know with a gift this Christmas.”