The Church of England Synod has asked the Royal Mail to print Christian designs on their Christmas postage stamps each year. In recent years, Christmas designs have included skating scenes, Santas, snowmen and holly. The motion, which was carried unanimously, said: "That this Synod, noting that over 71% of the population of the UK declared themselves to be Christian in the 2001 census, request the Royal Mail to issue Christmas stamps with Christian themes every year." Canon Dr Christina Baxter, principal of St John's Theology College in Nottingham, who tabled the motion, said: "We are asking for a religious stamp every year at Christmas. Christmas is a Christian festival and the most important one at that." A Royal Mail spokesman said it welcomed the interest shown by the Church, but would maintain its "multi-faith" stance. He said: "Although Christmas is a Christian festival we live in a multi-faith society. The Royal Mail issued the first Christmas stamp in 1966 and since then we have varied stamp designs each year to appeal to as wide an audience as possible." Since 1966, there have been 21 Christian-theme stamps and 16 secular ones. The design for this year will be secular while 2005 is going to be religious. "There is no set programme to the choice of religious or secular themes and the choice of subject matter is part of the design process in which we consult a wide variety of people," he said.
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