Updated Wednesday evening
The Church of England has published the results of a survey by ICM which are available in full as a PDF file here.
The press release which accompanied this is here: Four out of five believe in the power of prayer.
Four out of five British adults believe in the power of prayer, according to a new ICM survey in the run-up to Easter. Holy Week and Easter are the most important period in the Christian calendar, marking the last days of Jesus’ ministry, his death on the Cross and resurrection to new life…
As the notes to the press release explain:
The question asked was: “Irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, what would it be for?.”
There has been some criticism of the claims made in the press release, see
Huffington Post Church Of England Accused Of ‘Dishonesty’ In Prayer Survey
British Humanist Association Church of England spins Prayer Survey
New Statesman Church of England commits sins against statistics
TA readers may wish to study the full results of the survey for themselves and comment on whether they think the wording of the press release was justified.
The British Religion in Numbers website has published this detailed critique by Clive Field of the press release and the survey, and of other reports of it in the media: Prayer in a Spin.
…The Church based its claim on a misreading of the fact that 81% of the 2,015 adult Britons interviewed online by ICM Research on 13-14 March 2013, in a poll commissioned by the Church, had replied ‘something’ in answer to the question ‘irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, what would it be for?’ This was slightly below the figure (85%) in the equivalent poll this time last year…