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Jesus banned from M&S flowers

Nicholas Hellen, Social Affairs Editor Published: 1 March 2015

M&S’s automatic phrase-checker seemed to object to the word ‘Christ’ in messagesM&S’s automatic phrase-checker seemed to object to the word ‘Christ’ in messages ( Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg )

THE words “Christ” and “Jesus Christ” have been placed on a list of banned abusive and offensive terms by Marks & Spencer.

Customers who try to include them in greetings with online purchases of flowers are prevented from completing their orders.

The policy emerged this weekend when a pastor’s wife was blocked from ordering a £35 bouquet of spring flowers as a gift. She was confronted with an on-screen warning: “Sorry there’s something in your message we can’t write.”

The blocked message ran: “Thank you for your care and practical help for Margaret in her last days . . . With love from her church family, Christ Church Teddington.”

Gerardine Stockford, 53, rang M&S’s call centre on Friday and was told a word must have been blocked. It turned out to be “Christ”. She said: “He had to write my message for me because I couldn’t do it over the internet.”

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