A GARDEN SHED somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales would be the most
likely birthplace for Jesus, if he were to be born in present-day
Britain, a poll for the Bible Society suggests. The top choice for
a Wise Man would be the physicist and '90s pop star Professor Brian
Cox, probably bearing a gift of a chocolate orange, or socks.
The survey of 1000 adults found that almost a third of those
questioned think that Jesus would be born in the Dales, while 23
per cent picked London. Least popular was Swindon, where the Bible
Society is based, and which, it says, puts it on a par with
Bethlehem, which, it reports, also did not top the list for an
expected royal birth.
The choice of birthplace stuck closer to tradition, 31 per cent
picking a 21st-century shed to replace the stable. Second favourite
(17.5 per cent) was a Premier Inn or Travelodge, slightly ahead of
a squat (15.3 per cent).
The majority knew that myrrh was the resin of a tree although 26
per cent thought it was mined.
Professor Cox's two fellow Wise Men today would be the former
ITN newsreader Sir Trevor Macdonald (16 per cent), and Sir Richard
Branson (11.7 per cent). Least popular was the Chancellor, George
Osborne, who got 2.5 per cent of the vote. The Archbishop of
Canterbury had eight per cent in support.
The Head of Campaigns, Advocacy, and Media at the Bible Society,
Matthew Van Duyvenbode, said: "By encouraging people to think about
the nativity in terms of today's ordinary experiences, we hope that
they'll revisit one of the world's best-known stories."
If Jesus were born in the UK today, where do you think
he would be born?
Yorkshire Dales 27.4%
None of the above 27.9%
Who of the following would you pick as a Wise Man today?'
Professor Brian Cox 30.5%
Sir Trevor McDonald 16.4%
Sir Richard Branson 11.7%
Archbishop of Canterbury 8.8%
Joey Essex 3.6%
Russell Grant 2.9%
George Osborne 2.5%
None of the above 23.6%