The release of the 2011 Census data seems to have passed many people by.  As always it makes interesting reading and tells us some significant if unsurprising things about the structure and trends of our nation today.

As expected it shows that the proportion of the population who readily identify themselves as Christians has dropped (to 59.4% compared to 72.4% in 2001), the next largest group was Muslims up from 3% to 4.8%.

Read more: What does the Census really tell us?

2012 has been a difficult year for a number of families within the family of St. David’s Church . A number of us enter 2013 without someone we entered 2012 with. Others will be facing an uncertain 2013 (and beyond) for a variety of reasons. Some will have found 2012 a good year personally and for many it may have felt little different to previous years.

Read more: New Year Thoughts

It’s been a difficult time for heroes. First, we had the revelations about Jimmy Savile, the eccentric television personality accused by many of being a longstanding predatory paedophile. Then, a report on seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong suggested that his famous victories were made possible by use of performance-enhancing drugs. In both cases, disgrace was total and sudden, the plummet from acclaim to shame breathtaking. 

Read more: No more heroes? (with thanks to J John)

What does Christmas mean for you? Is it something you look forward to or is it something which you dread coming round every December?

The shops are full of gifts, the town centre streets of Holmfith (and Honley and Huddersfield too) are lit up and the TV is full of adverts (are there more toy adverts this year than ever before or is it just me?)

Read more: What does Christmas mean for you?