If ever there was an instance of a country being so hideously embarrassed about its past, and about one aspect that informed its culture for centuries, this is it. The Church of England has launched a “Real Easter Egg” in a box that explains what the festival is about. The egg is still chocolate, and two charities, Baby Lifeline and Traidcraft Exchange, will benefit from the proceeds. All well and good, you might think. But you really could not make up the way this news has been reported and the blocks the egg producers have had to overcome.

“Supermarkets agree to stock Christian-themed Easter eggs” is the Guardian’s headline. I like that “agree”, implying a de haut en bas concession on the part of the retailers, and which I imagine the sub-editor typed out with purse-lipped disapproval. Selling anything “Christian-themed” – and at Easter! Whatever next? “Christian-themed” Christmas cards?

Better still, however, is this from the Daily Mail’s report: “Initial plans to introduce it had to be cancelled after the patenting authorities queried the meaning of Easter in relation to the egg. But lawyers argued successfully that a link could be made between Christianity, Easter and chocolate eggs.”

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