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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".

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has given his backing to heterosexual couples who want to enter civil partnerships

New Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, backs civil partnerships for heterosexual couples

Justin Welby, the recently enthroned Archbishop of Canterbury, has given his backing to heterosexual couples who want to enter civil partnerships – a right currently restricted to gay and lesbian couples.

Desmond Tutu is this year’s winner of the ‘spiritual Nobel’

Templeton Prize: Desmond Tutu wins a million – so will he follow the Dalai Lama and give it away?

When the Dalai Lama received £1.1m last year from the Templeton Foundation, he did what all good Buddhist monks who have preached against materialism might be expected to do – he gave it away.

Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square before giving his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ address

Quarter of a million hear Pope Francis denounce the greedy and exploitative in Easter message

Pope Francis used his first Easter message today to criticise the forces of capitalist greed and environmental destruction.

Pope Francis kisses a baby after his first Easter Sunday message

Easter Sunday: New Pope and Archbishop strike profound notes on Christianity's biggest day

Pope Francis calls for peace in Syria and the Korean peninsula

Pope Francis washes the feet of a prisoner at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre

Pope washes feet of young offenders in prison - including two women - in traditional Easter ritual

Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 young offenders at a Rome detention centre yesterday – and for the first time included two women in the traditional Easter ritual.

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 shadow Health Secretary wants the Catholic Church to remember its commitment to social justice

Keep the faith, Andy Burnham tells NHS and Church

For this former altar boy, politics and religion are both about social justice

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.

Wilfrid Fox Napier, The Catholic Archbishop of Durban

South African cardinal who said paedophilia is 'not a criminal condition' apologises for offence

Cardinal Napier was among the conclave which elected the new Pope Francis

Westminster should drink from wisdom of Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has discussed his personal approach to alcohol

Pope Francis waves the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica

So what happens next for Pope Francis?

Having begun his reign, auspiciously enough, with a self-deprecating joke – “the duty of the cardinals is to elect a Bishop of Rome,” he deadpanned, “and they’ve gone to the end of the world to find one” – Pope Francis went back inside St Peter’s for the solemn ceremonies that conclude the Conclave process, the most important of which is a Mass in the Sistine Chapel with the other 114 cardinal electors.

LA child sex abuse case involving one of the 115 cardinals currently voting to elect the next Pope is settled for $10 million

Cardinal Roger Mahony is accused of covering for a confessed paedophile

Firefighters place the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, where cardinals will gather to elect the new Pope

Pray for Cardinals as they elect new Pope, Archbishop of Westminster urges British Catholics

Roman Catholic leaders in Britain have called on the faithful to pray for the cardinals gathered in Rome on the eve of the conclave to elect a new pope.

The Anglican Church has welcomed its new leader today with a ceremony in St Paul’s that officially marks Justin Welby’s election to Archbishop of Canterbury

Welby’s call on welfare puts IDS on the defensive

Archbishop of Canterbury says children will be pushed into poverty by Government’s proposals

Phony cleric breaks cardinal rule by trying to sneak in Rome congregation ahead of conclave to elect new Pope

An Italian man almost managed to sneak into a private meeting of Catholic officials in Rome yesterday after dressing as a cardinal.

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First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
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The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?