Nearly a third of Britons – 29 per cent – believe that a guardian angel is always watching over them, according to research.
A slightly higher number – 31 per cent – admit they believe in angels, while one in 20 – or 5 per cent – say they have actually seen or heard one.
Just 17 per cent say they are not sure what to believe.London has the highest levels of believers at 40 per cent, according to a survey by the Bible Society and Christian Research.
The North East scores the lowest, at 17 per cent.
People in the capital also score the highest for believing a guardian angel watches over them, at 37 per cent, compared with 22 per cent in Scotland and the North East.
The survey shows that 45 per cent of people interviewed from Oxford and 43 per cent of those from Hull believe they have a guardian angel.
This figure falls to 16 per cent for those in Edinburgh and Plymouth.
But researchers warn that the city results were based on small numbers – with only 17 people interviewed from Oxford, 19 from Hull, 39 from Edinburgh and 27 from Plymouth.
Other findings show that nearly four in five people – or
79 per cent – believe Nativity plays should be performed in schools, with the 45 to 54 age group most supportive.
Canon Dr Ann Holt, spokesman for the Bible Society, said: ‘There is plenty of evidence that there are presences in this world beyond the human.
‘The fact that a third of this country believes in angels is a sign of a spiritual need within many of us.
‘An angel is God’s messenger and the Bible affirms this through the many appearances of angels in different forms.’Angel Readings