Skip Content

Family, not faith, important to Britons at Christmas British Academy survey reveals

News •

Thirty three percent of Britons hold faith to be the least important aspect of Christmas, according to a survey by YouGov on behalf of the British Academy.

Ahead of our season of events around Faith, we asked what are the least and most important parts of Christmas.

Only 7% of those surveyed said that ‘Faith / Christianity’ is the most important part of Christmas.

'Spending time with family and friends’ was held to be the most important by 65% of respondents, followed by ‘Having time off’ (12%).

Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, who will be taking part the British Academy’s Faith events, said:

“These interesting findings confirm a long-standing truth about the Christmas festival, that it has never been entirely an expression of Christian faith.

"Connected with pre-Christian winter observance, grafted on to Christian practice in the fourth century, and given its present form by the Victorians with a great deal of non-Christian symbolism of trees and holly, it has always been a welcome break in dreary months.”