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".

Album: Sinikka Langeland, Maria's Song (ECM)

An odd and intermittently beautiful combination of finger-in-the-ear Norwegian folk songs about the Virgin Mary (sung by Langeland), with performances of Bach played by Lars Anders Tomter on a viola of 1590 and Kare Nordstoga on the baroque organ of Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim, where the recording was made.

Inquiry launched into clergyman's 'affair'

The Church of England has launched an inquiry into allegations one of its senior clergymen was having an affair, a diocese said today.

Requiem, Maciejewski, Westminster Cathedral

It’s quite a story: the exiled Polish composer Roman Maciejewski tenaciously pursuing his dream to complete his “anti-war” Requiem over 15 years and across several countries and only now, a decade after his death, gathering the faithful in Westminster Cathedral during Polska! Year to celebrate its UK Premiere.

In God we trust: pews fill up as the economy slows down

Clerics believe the credit crunch is responsible for a steady rise in congregations

You write the reviews: The Prophecy, Chester Cathedral, Chester

The Chester Mystery Plays, a cycle based on biblical texts, date from the 14th century and are performed every five years in the shadow of Chester Cathedral. It's a complex and overwhelming enterprise by anyone's standards, but my apprehension at the thought of such a project being held in the open air of the famously fickle British summer, with a non-professional cast of more than 300 local people, quickly turned to admiration for their hard work and success.

LSO/Gergiev, St Paul's Cathedral, London

St Paul's Cathedral might be seen as the ultimate destination for a man already regarded as the omnipotent force in London musical life. But what should have been the crowning glory of Valery Gergiev's Mahler cycle – the mighty Eighth – was here bestowed with very mixed blessings indeed. The newly restored St Paul's is a thing of wonder, invoking silent awe beneath its great dome. But it's not a place for music on this scale.

Album: Padilla, Streams of Tears – The Sixteen/Christophers (Coro)

One of Spain's most successful émigrés, Juan Gutierrez de Padilla (1590-1664) was "maestro de capilla" of Puebla Cathedral, Mexico. Harry Christophers and the Sixteen reveal a composer with a talent for beatific radiance, best expressed in the Sanctus of the "Missa Ave Regina caelorum" and a glorious setting of "Deus in adiutorium" with twinkling harp.

One step forward...One step back, The Cathedral, Liverpool

It might be going a bit far to compare One Step Forward ... One Step Back, the new production by the Brighton-based company dreamthinkspeak, to the magnificence of Dante's vision, but One Step Forward takes his Paradiso and brilliantly transposes its imagined journey from Hell to Paradise to the nooks, crannies and galleries of Liverpool Cathedral. Giles Gilbert Scott could scarcely have imagined what profound and whimsical ideas would one day percolate through his spectacular building.

The Wave Theory Of Angels, by Alison MacLeod

An exploration of the point where science and fantasy seem to meet

Noel Mander

Restorer of the St Paul's Cathedral organ
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

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Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

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From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

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Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

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He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect