The many, many resting places of St Thomas à Becket

Also in our Barometer column: children in care, football managers and mountain-climbing vegans

28 May 2016

9:00 AM

28 May 2016

9:00 AM

A man in full

A relic said to contain a fragment of St Thomas à Becket’s elbow arrived from Hungary for a tour of London and Kent. Where to go to see some of his other bits:
— St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic church, Burgate Canterbury: fragments of vestment, bone and finger are in a glass case above the altar.
— Church of St Maria Maggiore, Rome: shirt and fragments of bone and brain.
— Most of him was interred in Canterbury cathedral until the shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII in the 1530s. Bones and a skull were discovered in Canterbury cathedral in 1888, but a later study concluded the skull was that of an older man.
— The Victoria & Albert Museum has a casket made in Limoges which was originally believed to contain some bits of St Thomas, but they are now missing.

Care worn

In a review of children in care, Lord Laming said too many were being sucked into the criminal justice system, including one boy who ate food from the fridge in his care home. How do the lives of children in care compare with other children’s?

Children in care
At expected level in English and maths aged 11 48%
Five GSCEs at A*–C 12%
Suspended from school 9.8%
Expelled 0.1%
Subject to criminal conviction or final warning 6.1%

Source: Department for Education

Children not in care
At expected level in English and maths aged 11 79%
Five GSCEs at A*–C 52%
Suspended from school 1.9%
Expelled 0.06%
Subject to criminal conviction or final warning 1.2%

Source: Department for Education

Tough at the top

Louis van Gaal was sacked as manager of Manchester United after two years in charge. How long do managers last?

Premiership 1.8 years
Championship 0.9 years
League One 1.41 years
League Two 1.44 years
Junior officer, Great War 6 weeks
FTSE100 chief executive 5.3 years

Diet data

A vegan climber died of altitude sickness while climbing Mount Everest in an attempt to prove vegans were not weak. How many vegans and vegetarians are there in Britain? Some estimates:
— ‘At least’ 542,000 are vegan (Vegan Society).
— Less than 1% of the population are vegan (600,000), but 2% are vegetarian (Department for Health, 2012).
12% of population are vegetarian, rising to 20% among 16-to-24-year-olds (Mintel, 2014).

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  • Marathon-Youth

    I do not comprehend. Is the writer disapproving relics or is the writer making a point that such relics are important?