Concerns Grow Over Buy Now Pay Later
A survey just carried out for Citizens Advice this autumn warns that about 28% of adults will use or are already using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) schemes to fund their Christmas spending this year. The proportion rises to 56% for adults with young children. Moreover, many people said they had missed at least one payment under BNPL over the past year to pay for last year's celebrations, and a third of those surveyed said they borrowed further in order to repay the original debt.
Sadly, this is nothing new, but is made all the more acute by the difficulties already experienced by so many people to make ends meet in the current cost of living crisis. Citizens Advice is calling for greater government regulation of the BNPL sector. But more, clear messaging from the Church about the real meaning of Christmas would help too.
Advent Calendars 'Destroy' Christmas
The Daily Telegraph (13 November 2023) reports that a former chaplain to the late Queen Elizabeth II claims that luxury Advent calendars are helping to undermine the meaning of Christmas and indeed of Chrstianity itself.
Dr Gavin Ashenden comments that 'the job of Advent is to clear the clutter of our lives away... It's a sign of spiritual illiteracy in our culture that it hasn't noticed that that's what Advent is about. It's doing what secularity always does – taking a good idea and turning it the wrong way round.'