MORE Church of England clergy now believe that the world was created in six days than at any time since Charles Darwin's Origin of Species was published in 1859, a researcher has stated . . .

The Revd Michael Roberts, a Templeton Prize-winner and author, who has been researching Church of England clerics' beliefs in creationism, said on Friday: "I have yet to find anything put forward by creationists as anything other than rubbish."

Mr Roberts, who is Vicar of Cockerham, Glasson and Winmarleigh, in Blackburn, said that he found no clergy from 1855 until the late 1960s who disagreed with Darwin, even though he studied the writings of more than 200, from all theological perspectives.

All this changed with the publication in Britain in 1968 of The Genesis Flood, produced in the United States in 1961, which stated that geological strata were all laid down in the flood.

"I now estimate belief in a six-day creation among the clergy has risen to ten per cent. It is nearly at the same level it was between 1800 and 1850, even though geologists had demonstrated the vast age of the earth from about 1780," he said.

Church Times, 22/3/02