Church leaders say that the tendency to call God "he" is a growing problem. Some even go so far as to say that God is a man, is heresy.

The calls come after a YouGov survey found that nearly half of 18-24 year old Christians believe that God is male, and one in three over 65 believes the same. Only one percent of respondents believed that God is female.

Rev. Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, said: "I do not want young girls or boys to constantly listen to God as 'he.'"

She warned that it was important "to think of our language" to alienate non-Christians from the church.

She told the Sunday Telegraph, "For me, especially in a larger context, in all things, whether it's going to a website and seeing pictures of whites, or going to a website and using it of "He" if we could use God, all these things give people unconscious messages.

"I am very keen to say that we can always look at what we communicate."

Bishop Treweek became the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords in 2015, returning the famous version of her summons because she described her as the "right venerable Father in God."

The Bishop of Dorking, Joan Bailey Wells, said using the male language was a "growing problem" as the language became generally gender neutral.

Rev Wells said, "When I conduct or preach prayers, I try to circumvent the problem by using both male and female images and avoiding the need to say 'his' or 'too much' too often."

She said that she "does not avoid the male language at all".

But Rev Sally Hitchener, anglican chaplain at Brunel University, said it's "heretical" to say that God is only male.

Rev Hitchener said, "No academic theologian in the UK would objectively say that God is male, and yet in many churches this is common usage and definitely the message conveyed in many of the media releases we send out there."

According to Rev Hitchener, within the church there is a movement of events that "emphasize the feminine nature of God".

In response to the survey results, Pastor Dr. Ian Paul, the theologian and member of the Archbishop Council, says the results are partly due to a culture in which "gender identity is always present".


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