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Like the C of E? You like liver and onions

28 November 2014

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 five.

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, incidentally.)

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 Photographer.

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.


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