Following the recent abduction of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, and the ensuing fruitless prayer services, church leaders have finally admitted that God just isn't up to the job any more.
With the wall-to-wall media coverage of the abduction, even the Archbishop of Canterbury admits that God must have heard the news. Even if his Sky reception isn't too good he will almost certainly have seen it on the BBC.
Churchgoers have long been dissatisfied with the service they get from God, claiming that he generally ignores their prayer requests, and feelings that he should be replaced are now running high. Some even fear that God may have died unnoticed: this may account for the general deterioration of the planet and the ever more popular "I'm all right Jack" attitude.
In God's defence, the Archbishop said that although God is ubiquitous we can't expect him to be everywhere at once, and that possibly we expect too much of him. He is a man, after all, and men aren't generally known for their ability to multi-task.
Church leaders are believed to be planning interviews for his replacement. Likely candidates include Tom Cruise, David Beckham and George Bush. Feminists believe that the next God should be a woman and have suggested bringing Margaret Thatcher out of retirement. If Mrs. Thatcher isn't interested then other great female brains of the 21st century should be considered, Jordan and Jade Goody being popular choices.
In the meantime people are urged not to panic. "God hasn't really made his presence felt for centuries," said the Archbishop, "so the changeover will probably occur without people even being aware of it." He added that personally he would rather the new God was a man, as "re-printing all the Bibles with the personal pronoun changed would be bloody expensive."