CHURCH OF ENGLAND? Then right now you'll be fancying a plate of
liver and onions or perhaps faggots, perhaps after your shopping
trip to a Booth's supermarket in your Vauxhall car. Later, you
might watch your favourite television show, Dad's Army, or
listen to your favourite singer, Shakin' Stevens.
This is the current the profile of a typical Anglican drawn up
by the market researchers YouGov, based on the preferences of the
more than 1100 people on its 196,000-strong survey panel who
"liked" the Church of England when questioned.
A few of the preferences are predictable: you like religious
services, contribute to emergency-relief charities, and are
interested in the local community. Another favourite television
programme is Songs of Praise; the second listening choice
is the choir of Westminster Abbey.
But several are off-beam, such as the choice of food, and the
inclusion of Chubby Checker in the top five musicians, and the
former BBC newsreader Kenneth Kendall, who retired in 1981 and died
two years ago, as the favourite celebrity. He is closely followed
by the TV historian Dan Snow and Tommy Walsh, the cheerful chippy
of BBC Groundforce fame. Raquel Welch comes in at number
The favourite sport listed is Nascar racing.
The supermarket choice is a hint that the 1100 people on whom
this is based are not spread evenly across the country but are
concentrated in the north-east and the Midlands. The preferences do
not claim to be universal, YouGov explains. Instead, they show
spikes of interest, known as the "Z score", compared with the
general population. Thus only 2.8 per cent of the sample registered
a liking for liver and onions, but that is more than the normal
average (2.64 per cent like potage bonne femme,
Another quality is that the list is dynamic. Last week, the
favourite film was West Side Story, and Dracula,
Prince of Darknesscame into the list. This week, the favourite
was Tarzan, followed by Yves St Laurent,
Billy Liar, and School for Scoundrels.
Last week, The Daily Telegraph was the favourite
newspaper; this week it was the Daily Mail. The sample has
been consistently right- of-centre in its politics. The Radio
Times is a favourite magazine, followed by National
Geographic, The Spectator, and Amateur
As for personality, Church of England "likers" in the survey
describe themselves as forgiving, kind, and communicative, but on
occasion, easily distracted, demanding, and careful.