Ruth Gledhill, Fleet Street’s last full-time religious affairs correspondent leaves The Times this week and will not be replaced. Her departure is probably more a sign of the decline of the print media than it is of reduced interest in religion. Speaking to the Press Gazette, Ruth argued that the job has become redundant because religion is now so much part of the general news agenda. She plans to study for an MA in digital journalism and work in PR for a not-for-profit organisation. During her 27 years Ruth achieved a number of scoops, including revealing the appointment of Rowan Williams to Canterbury. She also got some things wrong, including a lead story in The Times that claimed Anglicans and Catholics were on course for a merger. It is a sign of how good a journalist she was that it was not uncommon to hear bishops and church leaders complain about her but Rowan Williams told The Tablet last week that reading newspapers could be good for the soul. “Your most ambitious self-image needs to know you may still look a complete idiot,” he said. Writing in the same paper, Ruth’s predecessor, Clifford Longley, warned that the end of specialist reporters who understood their subject meant religious news would be spun to fit the outlook of newspapers.