Eggs not Eggheads: The answer to atheism lies in Easter chocolate, says Bishop

Hundreds of thousands of chocolate eggs with a Bible story inside can combat a decline in knowledge about Easter.

That is according to Julian Henderson, the bishop of Blackburn, who is backing a campaign by the Meaningful Chocolate company to distribute more than a quarter of a million eggs alongside the Easter message.

The Meaningful Chocolate CompanyThe Real Easter Egg is designed to help older generations pass on their faith to younger people.

It comes after research revealed half the population do not associate Easter with Jesus Christ.

Despite being the most important festival in the Christian calendar, most Brits rank Jesus behind chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and bank holidays in their association with Easter, according to a YouGov poll last year.

More than 80 million eggs are sold around the UK each year and Bishop Henderson is hoping this trend can be used to spread the Christian Easter story.

The Meaningful Chocolate Company, founded in 2010, is the only to sell Easter egg with the gospel story inside.

'The Real Easter Egg is a simple and effective way to share the essentials of our Christian faith, while supporting Fairtrade and the charities involved,' said Bishop Henderson. 'I encourage people to buy one as a gift for someone who will not know why Christians believe that Jesus is alive.'

The Meaningful Chocolate CompanyHelen Godfrey, from the Mothers' Union in Edinburgh, said: 'I have bought these eggs for my own grandchildren. It is so important that we share and celebrate the Easter story with younger generations.'

He pointed to 'clear evidence of less familiarity with the Easter story amongst young parents and children these days' after research revealed fewer than half of people below the age of 50 associate Easter with Jesus Christ. Just 44 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 45 per cent of 25-49 year olds link Easter with Jesus but about two thirds of people over 50 do associate the two.

On top of that research by ComRes revealed a quarter of people who describe themselves as Christians do not believe in Jesus's resurrection - the key tenet of the Christian faith and the main celebration at Easter.

'We have a responsibility to pass the message of Easter to the next generation and The Real Easter Eggs are a creative way to do this,' said Bishop Henderson.

David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: 'It was quite a surprise to discover that nearly 60 per cent of under 24 year olds do not connect Jesus with Easter.

'There's an opportunity for those over 50 to buy a Real Easter Egg and pass on knowledge of the festival to younger parents and grandchildren. We hope to distribute 250,000 stories with our eggs and reach more than a million people.'