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19 December 2013

Looking for Jesus? Try a garden shed

Looking for Jesus? Try a garden shed

When asked where Jesus would be born today, a Bible Society poll revealed that nearly one third of people think Jesus would be born in a garden shed. A Premier Inn or a Travelodge was the choice of 17 per cent and the least popular venue was a bus stop – which came in just below the Hilton. One third of people chose the Yorkshire Dales. London is the second most popular location on 23 per cent.

Alliance member Bible Society surveyed a thousand adults about how the Nativity might play out in modern life.

When asked what they would give Jesus as a present today, the most popular choice was a chocolate orange (13.7 per cent) followed by socks (10.8 per cent).Six per cent chose a Playstation 4, the same as an itunes voucher or a football shirt – all coming ahead of the Xbox One.

As for a choice of the three wise men – Professor Brian Cox topped the poll with one third of people saying they would choose him; followed by Sir Trevor Macdonald (16 per cent). The Chancellor, George Osborne, came last, with just 2.5 per cent of the vote. Joey Essex (3 per cent) and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (8 per cent) were also near the bottom of the list.

Survey users were also questioned about which Nativity character they would want to play. Angels came top. Interestingly, there was a large gender split - 40 per cent of women wanted to be an angel versus only eight percent of men – even though every angelic name in the Bible is masculine. Over all Herod and Joseph were the least popular choices.

Head of campaigns, advocacy and media at the Bible Society, Matthew Van Duyvenbode, said: "This poll is a bit of fun, but it also points to a story of enduring significance. At the heart of Christmas is the message that God cares about the everyday, the ordinary and the seemingly insignificant. 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 with a fresh perspective."

Bible Society will be performing a pop-up Nativity at the Brunel Shopping Centre in Swindon (the modern day equivalent of Bethlehem based on least likely place Jesus would be born) on 23rd December: 11 – 4pm. Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus will be there.