Hazel Southam - Journalist

Is this the reason why East Anglia is so godless?

Daily Telegraph 18 May 2015: It has been nicknamed the most godless place in Britain and now perhaps we know why.
When the last UK census singled out parts of East Anglia as having some of the lowest levels of religious affiliation in the UK, social commentators were unable to explain the reasons why.
But new polling of a panel of 1,800 regular churchgoers across the UK could provide a clue: po-face clergy.
Christians in the region are less likely than those anywhere else in the country to recall hearing a sermon or talk which contained a joke that made them laugh.
Congregations in Yorkshire and the Humber have the most entertaining services, with 80 per cent able to recall laughing at a clerical quip – just ahead of London, where 77 per cent had heard a decent joke in church. In the East of England barely half (53 per cent) could recall laughing in church.
The survey, by the polling group Christian Research, was commissioned by the Christian Resources Exhibition, a tradefair for the clergy taking place in London this week.
This year the event will include a professional stand-up comedy training session to help clergy liven up their sermons.


About Hazel

Hazel Southam is an award-winning journalist who reports on religious affairs, international development and the environment. She has covered four G8 Summits.

She wrote for The Sunday and Daily Telegraph for 10 years. Her work has also appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Daily Mail and The Evening Standard.

Reporting assignments have taken her to places including Bosnia, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Albania, Nagorno-Karabakh, Senegal and the Arctic Circle.

In the UK, she has also delivered media training to the MOD and leading businesses.

Contact Hazel