Where would Jesus be born if this year were the first Christmas?
was one of several questions in a new poll conducted by the Bible
Society to get people thinking about the Christmas story.
Other questions included what presents would be offered to the newborn, and who would make the best Wise Man.
The poll revealed that the most popular birthplace of choice for
Jesus is the Yorkshire Dales, with almost one third of the votes, while
second place went to London with 23 per cent.
Swindon was last choice, with only two percent of those asked
believed Jesus would be born there, which, ironically, makes it about as
likely a choice as Bethlehem - a tiny city where no one expected a
One third of those polled thought Jesus would be born in a garden
shed in the 21st century, while 17 per cent decided a Travelodge would
be more fitting.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost nobody chose the Hilton
hotel or a bus stop as a likely modern birthplace for the Messiah.
Just over one in 10 (13.7%) think Jesus would have a sweet tooth and
they would give him a chocolate orange if he was born this year.
Just over 10% would give him the more practical gift of a pair of
socks, while 6% chose a Playstation 4, an iTunes voucher or a football
Professor Brian Cox was the most popular choice for a Wise Man with
33% of the vote. Sir Trevor Macdonald was runner up with 16%, while the
unlikely pairing of the Archbishop of Canterbury and reality TV star
Joey Essex each came close to the bottom of the list.
The survey also revealed that, given the chance, a whopping 40% of
women want to be an angel in a Nativity play, while only 8% of men would
choose to don the wings and tinsel halo, despite every angelic name in
the Bible being masculine.
Matthew Van Duyvenbode, Head of Campaigns, Advocacy and Media at the
Bible Society, said: "This poll is a bit of good 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."