It was refreshing to see the House of Commons reject further relaxation of Sunday trading laws in England and Wales. The government had hoped to allow councils to extend opening hours on a Sunday, but it was defeated by 317 votes to 286. As a result, Sunday trading laws will remain as they are.
While the main thrust of the vote against relaxing the laws was undoubtedly down to protecting employees’ rights to time off on a Sunday rather than observance of the Lord’s Day, there is clearly an inclination among many of our politicians to give special credence to a Sunday. This is to be encouraged.
In terms of the large supermarkets, it is understood that both Asda and Morrisons were in favour of relaxing the law while Tesco believed that the existing regulation was appropriate. However, one retailer that will not be opening at all on a Sunday is kids’ toy store The Entertainer. Owned by born again Christian Gary Grant, The Entertainer is closed every Sunday and doesn’t stock any items related to the occult or witchcraft such as wizard toys. Mr Grant explains: "This business will never open on a Sunday whilst I'm a shareholder....If this business ever needs for its survival to trade on a Sunday, it's up for sale….if we were open I would expect we could probably take a million and a quarter". He then adds: "I'm accountable to God.... I'm not accountable to shareholders."
On the point about witchcraft and wizardry Mr Grant states: "I want to sell wholesome toys to children and therefore as a Christian I am concerned about anything that's to do with the occult, witchcraft. We just choose not to stock that."