Exclusive: Christmas expense making families 'miserable', says Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks to Martin Lewis as part of an exclusive interview on ITV. Photo: ITV

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that people are making themselves "miserable" at Christmas because of the pressure of buying expensive gifts for loved ones.

In an exclusive interview with ITV's financial guru Martin Lewis, Justin Welby admits it is a cliché for him to be complaining about modern consumerism - but said that people were risking their relationships by spending big, leaving themselves short of money.

The Archbishop’s comments mark the first time he has spoken about Christmas in a television interview and will feature on The Martin Lewis Money Show: 12 Saves Of Christmas, which is due to air this week.

Watch an extract of the interview:

When Martin asks the Archbishop if he feels guilty that some people get into debt over Christmas, he responds that it is the "mercantile trading shopping over-the-topness", that was causing financial problems for families.

No, it doesn’t make me feel guilty at all because the Christian bit of Christmas isn’t the bit that’s getting people into debt. It’s the whole mercantile trading shopping over-the-topness, so I don’t feel guilty about it.

The Archbishop also tells Martin he’s doing such a good job of preaching financial prudence that he does not have to:

Martin will also deliver his Twelve Saves of Christmas - featuring tips to help your cash go further during the festive season. These range from clever shopping techniques to radical ways to save like banning unnecessary Christmas presents.

Watch The Martin Lewis Money Show: 12 Saves Of Christmas on ITV on Tuesday 12 November at 8pm.