UK DAILY MAIL A Muslim branch manager has been drafted in by the fast food outlet to cover for the usual boss who is taking the day off and staff have volunteered to work that day for seven hours. Parish Rvd Wayne Stillwell said the decision to open the branch showed ‘the continuing decline of Christendom in this country’ and his reaction was ‘one of great sadness’.
Rev Stillwell, of St Mary’s Church, Chaddesden, said: ‘Some people, who provide essential services, have to work on Christmas Day – but I don’t feel that those employed by a fast-food restaurant should be in the same situation.’
Shahban Rehmat who has volunteered to manage the outlet said he expected a steady trade throughout the day. He said no staff who did not want to work that day were being forced to.
He said: ‘It’s the first time the restaurant will open on December 25 and it’s for the convenience of our customers. ‘There are people who work on Christmas Day and they would normally struggle to find somewhere to eat.
‘I think the move will prove popular with non-Christians, (especially muslims), and several customers have asked us whether we will be open. ‘It’s difficult to say how many we are expecting but I think there will be a steady trade.’
Michelle Berry, 43, from Littleover, Derby, was in the branch when she was asked if she would not be taking her children there that day. ‘There’s no way I’d take my kids for a McDonalds on Christmas Day,’ she said. ‘I suppose it’s good news for people from different religions though.’
However, the Dean of Derby, Dr John Davies, said he had ‘no argument’ with the move. He said: ‘Mary, Joseph and the babe were lucky to find an innkeeper who helped them find a place to stay. He provided hospitality for them.
‘Families and friends should come together at Christmas, and if they want to do that in McDonald’s then who is the Church to object?’
A spokesman for McDonalds said many of the stores are franchises, adding: ‘It is up to the individual store and their staff members which individuals work on Christmas Day.
‘It is not policy for staff members of a particular religion to work on any specific day – although staff who do not celebrate Christmas may make the decision to work on December 25 themselves.
(Is YOUR local McDonald’s serving you halal beef or chicken? If there are a lot of muslims in your neighborhood, they probably are)