From the Times today
...some ember still seems to burn in Britain’s 3.6 million regular churchgoers, for almost all of them feel a sense of expectation for the Sunday sermon, according to researchers at Durham University.
Fully 96.6 per cent of those surveyed “look forward” to the sermon, with 60 per cent saying it gave them a sense of God’s love.
At a time when churches are agonising about how to move to a “digital” from an “analog” age, the results suggest that there is life in the old forms yet.
The College of Preachers of Durham University admits that the results are “counter-intuitive” — particularly in an age where “sermonising” is seen as a deadly sin. The college plans to carry out a larger study to discover why people like sermons so much.
The most recent survey, carried out by Durham’s Codec research centre to mark the 50th anniversary of the College of Preachers, offers preliminary suggestions.
Nothing obvious on the CODEC site, there's a brief mention of it on the College of Preachers site but no obvious link to the research itself. Without knowing a bit more about the sample size, questions asked etc., I'd be reluctant to draw any firm conclusions...
Update: the Director of Research at CODEC comments below:-
The research was carried out by CODEC at St John's College on behalf of the College of Preachers. You can obtain a copy for only £5 from St John's College - email@example.com - sadly we can't publish the complete copy online as research costs money and we need to recoup some of the costs. By the way, its a PILOT survey - small scale .