I have always suspected that the number of stories Ruth Gledhill has covered which involve something being the first, or greatest, of its sort since the Reformation was remarkable and this morning, being in need of distraction, I did some research into this.
In the first 200 years of its life, from 1785 until 1985, the _Times_ used the phrase “since the reformation” in 366 stories — between once and twice a year, on average. In the last 22 years, epochal events have come at a faster pace. The phrase has appeared in 127 stories in the last 21 years, or six times a year, 43 of these were bylined “Ruth Gledhill”, though Lexis-Nexis is not very good at filing bylines.
So, obviously, there has been a general belief on the _Times_ that the only historical event in the life of the Church of England that readers can be expected to know about is the Reformation. Whether Ruth is particularly guilty of this is a matter for further research. I haven’t checked how often the _Telegraph_ has used the phrase, or the _Guardian._