Peter Stanford

Peter James Stanford is an English writer, editor, journalist, and presenter

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Exorcism. Cleric doing a spell against the evil spirit. Engraving by Recorded by C. Penoso (1878).

Exorcism: What does the boom in demand tell us about Pope Francis's Catholic Church?

What does the booming demand for exorcists – supposedly inspired by Pope Francis himself – tell us about his Catholic Church?

Justin Welby was a rank outsider when he was chosen to be Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby: The nation's conscience

Two years ago the CofE enthroned a relative newcomer as Archbishop of Canterbury. Its faith has been rewarded, says Peter Stanford

David Cameron comes from a church-going background, and in recent times has been publicly talking up Christianity’s contribution to Britain

The Prime Minister cannot just dismiss the Church of England's attack on his government with a soundbite

David Cameron may not welcome the damning Anglican report on the state of the nation, but it is written from the blighted parishes of the frontline

Mary Christmas: the Bethlehem story is Mary's moment, when a poor peasant girl gives birth to the Son of God in a stable

The appeal of the Virgin Mary: A supernatural hope at a time of scepticism

Noah and Moses have both had the Hollywood treatment and next year it's the Virgin Mary's turn. But what is it about Our Lady, whose presence in the gospels is patchy at best, that means she still appeals to those of all creeds and none?

Canonised: Pope John Paul II

You don't have to be a saint to be a saint

You don't have to be all that saintly to be a saint, as even Catholic clerics attest. But then, argues Peter Stanford canonisation has long been more about politics than purity

Polls have indicated many priests would be in favour of allowing marriage within the priesthood

Why Pope Francis should allow priests to wed

Among the select group of old friends back in Argentina whom Pope Francis rings regularly from Rome was, until her recent death, Clelia Podesta. In 1972 she had married his former colleague, Bishop Jeronimo Podesta, causing the couple to be abandoned by every other leading figure in a Catholic hierarchy that sticks rigidly to the line that priests must remain celibate. But not by Pope Francis.

Ten more commandments: How to save the Anglican church

Twenty years ago, Anglicans believed its first female priests would reignite the Church of England. It never happened. Amid private infighting, public apathy and a resurgent Vatican, Peter Stanford draws up a rescue plan

The Pope's first year: Have we created a Fantasy Francis for ourselves?

Peter Stanford warns that, despite the hope for change invested in him, this Pope is a conservative at heart

Mini & Me, By Michael Cooper. Ziji, £11.99

It was one of those Cathy Come Home TV moments: 38 years ago, Franc Roddam's Inside Story documentary followed the fate in the care system of a baby-faced, articulate, compelling 11-year-old arsonist, Michael "Mini" Cooper. The programme touched a public nerve and prompted a national debate about how we dealt with youngsters whose parents weren't up to the job.

Why are there so few British-born Jewish players in England's top flight?

While Jews are twice as likely as the general public to be devout football fans, there's not been a British-born Jewish player in England's top flight for four decades

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Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
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Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before