Religious tone to David Cameron's Christmas message

David Cameron has quoted the bible in his Christmas message this year, appealing for people to remember the armed forces and emergency services during the festive season. the Prime Minister said the end of the year was a time to focus on the Christian message and said he would pray for everyone to have a happy and peaceful time "however you celebrate this time of year". Here is his speech in full:

Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.

2012 has been an extraordinary year for our country.

We cheered our Queen to the rafters with the Jubilee, showed the world what we're made of by staging the most spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and - let's not forget - punched way above our weight in the medals table.

David Cameron seen at the victory parade for the Olympics and Paralympics in September
David Cameron seen at the victory parade for the Olympics and Paralympics in September Credit: Press Association

But Christmas also gives us the opportunity to remember the Christmas story - the story about the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope that he brings to the countless millions who follow him.

The Gospel of John tells us that in this man was life, and that his life was the light of all mankind, and that he came with grace, truth and love. Indeed, God's word reminds us that Jesus was the Prince of Peace.

With that in mind, I would like to pay particular tribute to our brave service men and women who are overseas helping bring safety and security to all of us at home; their families who cannot be with them over the holidays; and to all the dedicated men and women in the emergency services who are working hard to support those in need.

British soldiers boarding a Chinook helicopter in Helmand
British soldiers boarding a Chinook helicopter in Helmand Credit: Reuters

When we are celebrating with family and friends, they and many others are all working on our behalf and deserve our thoughts and appreciation.

So however you celebrate this time of year, it is my hope and prayer that you have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

– David Cameron
David Cameron seen decorating a Christmas tree at Downing Street
David Cameron seen decorating a Christmas tree at Downing Street Credit: Press Association