Christmas Messages

Prominent figures give their Christmas messages to the nation - what do they have to say about the Midlands?

Prime Minister's religious message, despite conflict with Midlands' church leaders

David Cameron

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, had an overtly religious message in his Christmas speech to the nation this year.

He used the Christmas story of Jesus Christ bringing hope to the world to pay tribute to service men and women overseas.

However, it comes amid anger from many senior church figures over plans to allow same-sex marriage, including the Bishop of Leicester.

Tim Stevens has accused the Prime Minister of being out of touch with the "vast majority of practicing religious people" despite assurances that no churches will be forced to carry out such ceremonies.

Bishop of Shrewsbury's Christmas Speech

In an outspoken speech to his congregation tonight, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Rt Rev Mark Davies, will condemn the coalition's plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

"This Christmas we are also conscious of new shadows cast by a Government pledged at its election to support the institution of marriage."

"At such a moment the Prime Minister has decided without mandate, without any serious consultation to redefine the identity of marriage itself, the foundation of the family for all generations to come."This is again done in the name of progress... The British people have reason to ask on this night, 'where is such progress leading?"'

– The Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury

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Critical Christmas speech from Bishop of Shrewsbury

The Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Rt Rev Mark Davies, will address his congregation tonight at the city's cathedral and condemn aspects of contemporary society.

"The widespread neglect and ill-treatment of the frailest, elderly people in our society: concerns highlighted in the Care Quality Commission's recent report."

"The growing concerns about end of life care and what is happening to the most vulnerable in our hospitals."

"This dark side to our society is surely connected to the discarding of human life from the beginning in legalised abortion on an industrial scale, in reproductive technologies, in embryo experimentation which our laws have sanctioned."

– The Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury

Bishop of Shrewsbury to condemn gay marriage

Gay marriage condemned Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP/Press Association Images

In his Christmas message tonight at Shrewsbury Cathedral, the Bishop of Shrewsbury will tell his congregation that proposals to legalise same-sex marriage will redefine marriage and family life for generations to come.

The Roman Catholic Bishop, the Rt Rev Mark Davies, will accuse David Cameron of pushing the bill through without a mandate.

He will also condemn destructive experiments on human embryos, the scale of abortion and neglect of the elderly.