Money

A vicars' pension scheme could be facing a precarious future unless church chiefs face up to a potentially massive deficit. John Ralfe, an independent pension expert, claimed this week that the pension scheme for some 16,400 Church of England clergy is "the riskiest in the country in terms of asset-type".

Canon Keith Weston: Bible expositor known as one of the finest of his generation

Keith Weston, rector of St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, was widely regarded as one of the foremost Bible expositors of his generation. He played a vital part in an ambitious plan by the then Inter-Varsity Fellowship (now UCCF) to see Bible-teaching churches in all UK and Irish university towns. Weston's twofold ministry was to allow scripture to inform the thinking of his church members in whatever sphere they served, and to raise up other preachers who would do the same.

Why Justin Webb gets the nod over Justin Welby

According to a YouGov poll, on the question of trust, respondents ranked a priest below a family doctor, a teacher, a judge and even a BBC news journalist

The Lord Is My Shepherd: Archbishop of Canterbury will play The Vicar of Dibley theme tune on Classic FM on Easter Sunday

Archbishop Justin Welby puts Vicar of Dibley on Easter Sunday radio playlist

The Archbishop of Canterbury will play the theme tune from the BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley when he makes his radio presenting debut on Easter Sunday.

The Most Rev Justin Welby has warned that

Archbishop Justin Welby speaks out on gay relationships as he agrees to meet campaigner Peter Tatchell

The head of the Church of England has said some gay couples have loving and monogamous relationships of "stunning quality" - and he believes a woman will one day be made an archbishop.

Editorial: Same-sex marriage is a passport to real equality

The House of Commons will vote this evening on legalising gay marriage. But that bald statement of parliamentary timetabling masks the full import of what is happening. The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill is a historic piece of legislation that, once passed into law, will change the social landscape. It will change it for ever – no future government will be able to reverse it – and for the better. This is a modernising, reformist piece of legislation that recognises the right of everyone to be treated equally by the law, regardless of their sexual orientation.

'Religion is redundant and irrelevant': Richard Dawkins takes on ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams in Cambridge debate

Prominent atheist professor Richard Dawkins described religion as “redundant and irrelevant” as he took on the former Archbishop of Canterbury in a debate.

Plans will be launched by Culture Secretary Maria Miller next week

Church of England given fast-track option for same-sex marriage

Allowance would avoid time spent pushing fresh legislation through Parliament

Women bishops: Church leader Dr Philip Giddings wins confidence vote

A senior member of the Church of England today survived a bid to oust him from his position after he spoke against the introduction of female bishops ahead of a crucial vote.

RELIGION

The threat of schism within the Anglican church grew last night after the leader of a global group of traditional Anglicans condemned the Church of England for "compromising with the secular preoccupations of the West" by allowing celibate gay bishops.

Editorial: The unholy row over gay Christians

It is difficult to know whether to laugh or cry at the latest Houdini-like attempt by the Church of England to extricate itself from the mess it has created over gay sexuality. Its bishops have announced, to the inevitable annoyance of conservative Anglicans, that gay men can now be accepted as candidates for the episcopacy – but only if they declare themselves to be celibate.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, must decide if he will appease traditionalists

Senior Anglican condemns gay bishops as a compromise too far

Statement significantly ratchets up fallout between liberals and conservative over the thorny issue of homosexuality

Gay bishops allowed – but they can’t have sex

An announcement made from the Church's House of Bishops, said the CofE would allow gay clergy to become bishops providing they remain celibate

A gay bishop might be the painful medicine the Anglican Communion needs

The Church of England has dropped the opposition to gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols called the plans a

Gay marriage: public say Church is wrong

'Independent' poll shows rift as Archbishop attacks Government's plans

Jewish men walk along the street in the Stamford Hill area of north London

Census data shows rise in people calling themselves Jewish

After decades in which the number of Anglo-Jews was perceived to be in decline, the latest census figures shows a modest rise in those describing themselves as Jewish.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas