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Poll: Jesus would be born in Yorks

20 December 2013


Mystical: the Three Wise Men, played by the actors (left to right) Sanjiv Hayre, Rian Perle and Alin Balascan, take a detour through Swindon, a fortnight ago 

Mystical: the Three Wise Men, played by the actors (left to right) Sanjiv Hayre, Rian Perle and Alin Balascan, take a detour through Swindon, a fort...

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%
London 23.9%
Oxford 7%
Liverpool 4.2%
Newcastle 3.5%
Cardiff 3.4%
Swindon 2.7%
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%

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