Royal Mail Christmas Stamps

My Chair of District has just forwarded an email, which she received from someone in St Albans Diocese. It contains some copied and pasted text, alleging that Royal Mail have instructed its staff only to sell this year’s Christian-themed Christmas stamps to customers who specifically request them, so they can prove there is no demand for religious stamps. There is no quoting of a source for the story. It may or may not be true. However, I can find no corroborative allegations or evidence online. Without such evidence, I am inclined to think this is another ‘scare’ email that will give Christians a bad name, rather like the petition against a supposedly Government-funded mega-mosque in east London.

Here is the text in question:

Royal Mail has traditionally
alternated between sacred and secular designs for their Christmas stamps and
this year it is the turn for a religious image. Royal Mail has issued two sets
of designs this year. The main set of designs, available in all the main
denominations is of angels, which is vaguely Christian but not explicitly so
and certainly not specifically Christmassy. They have also issued a ‘Madonna
and Child’ design for first and second class only. Post Office staff have been
instructed to only sell this design if people specifically request it, but
obviously people can’t request it if they don’t know it exists! If people don’t
buy these stamps, Royal Mail will claim there is no demand for religious
Christmas stamps and not produce them in future. Please therefore ask for
‘Madonna and Child’ stamps when you do your Christmas posting and also tell your
friends, contacts etc. to do the same. Thank You.

Does anyone know anything that would back this up, or are my suspicions justified?

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  1. Whilst the Royal Mail website doesn’t explicitly state that they will only sell the madonna and child stamps to those who ask, this is insinuated by the text on their Christmas stamps page, which states:

    “The 2007 designs include four separate stamps, each featuring an angel illustration in renaissance style. In addition to these stamps, we issue two Madonna and Child 1st and 2nd class designs for customers who prefer a Nativity image for their Christmas stamps.”

    So, if you “prefer” a nativity image, I presume you have to state that you do, or else you’ll get the standard angel designs. I’m off to buy my Christmas stamps today, so I’ll see which I’m offered, before passing judgement. But, having received the e-mail above, at least I am forewarned that I might have to ask for the more religious-style stamps!


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