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In God we trust? Brits are losing faith in the clergy

Once a sanctuary where people would seek refuge and confess their sins, the Church has today lost the trust of a record number of Brits. That’s according to a new poll.

According to an Ipsos MORI survey of which professions are trusted most by the public, the proportion of those trusting priests has reached unprecedented lows. Only 65 percent of the 988 adults polled said they trusted priests to tell the truth in 2017, down from 69 percent in 2016.

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In 1983, the figure stood at 85 percent. This was the very first year data of such was put on record.

It comes amid widespread reports of the Church losing followers as the number of secular Britons now outnumbers Christians. According to a report titled ‘The “No Religion” Population in Britain’, the number of non-religious, or ‘nones’, now accounts for 48.6 percent of Britons.

The number of British people identifying as Christian dropped from 55 percent to 43 percent between 1983 and 2015. The number of non-Christian believers, however, such as Muslims and Hindus, quadrupled.

“Groups such as professors, scientists, the police, trade union officials and civil servants have become more trusted, but the clergy are the most notable losers,” said Gideon Skinner, head of political polling at Ipsos MORI.

The poll also found politicians remained the least trusted of all. Interestingly, the poll found a rise in the people trusting politicians despite recent sexual harassment allegations at Westminster.

READ MORE: Church Ltd? Clergy must stop acting like CEOs ‘chasing growth targets’

The number of those trusting politicians rose from 17 percent to 20, while those trusting government ministers stood at 22, up from 19 before the misconduct allegations.

While trust in journalists reached an all-time high at 27 percent, the most-trusted group of professionals was nurses at 94 percent, with doctors narrowly trailing at 91 percent. Trust in police is at its highest level, with 74 percent of respondents saying they trusted the force, up by 13 points since 1983.

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