Women are deserting the Church in their thousands and turning to the pagan religion of Wicca.
Flowing skirts and garlands hold more attraction than a mitre
Tired of waiting to wear a mitre, they are putting on pointy hats instead - or dressing in garlands and flowing skirts at any rate.
This, generally speaking, was how the newspapers sold the conclusions of a study by Dr Kristin Aune - a Derby sociologist - into churchgoing habits.
It claimed that the Church faces a crisis in maintaining female worshippers who have become disillusioned because of its traditionalism and hierarchies.
Wicca, on the other hand, offers them real empowerment apparently as they can aspire to the lofty position of High Priestess.
They can even establish their own coven if they so wish.
Now there’s power. Who cares about sitting in the House of Lords when you could be overseeing witches developing new spells?
Maybe the Episcopal Church was ahead of the game when it posted a “pagan” rite - called A celebration of the Divine Feminine - on its web site a few years ago.
As part of the eucharist, the priest raises a cup of milk and honey and then a plate of raisin cakes to Mother God, before saying: “Thank you, Mother, for the abundance of life for the rich, full, pleasing, and life giving milk of our bodies.
“Thank you for the children who drink from our breasts for they bring sweetness to our lives. We drink this cup as your daughters, fed from your own bosom.”
It goes on: “Mother God, our ancient sisters called you Queen of Heaven and baked these cakes in your honour in defiance of their brothers and husbands who would not see your feminine face.”
This affirmation of womanhood, which Dr Aune argues is one of the main attractions of paganism, is bolstered by a hostility to men, as if the two can not be complementary but rather are mutually exclusive.
Such aggressive motives for baking cakes are unlikely to have passed the lips of WI members, but mad as it all may sound, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori used similar language in her first sermon as the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop-elect.
“Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation - and you and I are his children,” she said.
As a totemic figure for many of the pro-women bishops campaigners in England, it is safe to assume that a decent proportion of them wouldn’t even adjust their hearing-aid at such a remark.