Sermons: the View from the Pew

CODEC, a research centre at St John’s College, Durham University, and the College of Preachers have just released the results of a pilot study of attitudes towards preaching and sermons. This forms part of the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the founding of the College of Preachers in 1960.

A total of 193 churchgoers from 16 places of worship of various denominations (including Roman Catholic) were surveyed. Although 97 per cent of worshippers frequently or sometimes looked forward to sermons, and 60 per cent said sermons gave them a sense of God’s love, only 17 per cent thought that preaching changed the way they live. Many Anglicans and Catholics had a strong preference for sermons of around ten minutes, but Free Church worshippers often wanted longer sermons.

A report on the survey is available, price £5, from CODEC at St John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham, DH1 3RJ. It is entitled The View from the Pew and is authored by Ben Blackwell, Kate Bruce and Peter Phillips.

Headline findings also feature in a number of print and online media articles, including on the BBC website at:

British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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