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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".

People gather around the new bells of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral during their blessing mass

Two centuries on the bells of Notre Dame ring again on 850th birthday

A sound not heard since the late 18th century pealed tunefully, and movingly, over central Paris at the weekend.

Rupert Thomson

Book of a lifetime: On the High Wire by Philippe Petit

In 1985 I worked for the Strand, New York’s most famous second-hand bookstore.

Canterbury court sentences royal car protester Jonathan Elliott

A protester has been bound over to keep the peace for 12 months after he lunged at a car carrying the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall before the Archbishop of Canterbury's enthronement.

February 5, 2013: A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in central London. The reconstruction is based on a CT scan of human remains found in a council car park in Leicester which are believed to belong to the last of the Plantagenet monarchs of Britain who was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Poll: Where should Richard III be interred?

When the skeleton of the crooked-backed Plantagenet king Richard III was found under a car park in Leicester, a petty civil war broke between four British cities, all staking their claim as the rightful burial ground for the dead monarch.

February 5, 2013: A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in central London. The reconstruction is based on a CT scan of human remains found in a council car park in Leicester which are believed to belong to the last of the Plantagenet monarchs of Britain who was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Fit for a king? Royal row rumbles on over where Richard III should be laid to rest

He was rescued from the council car park - and is now heading for a plain-looking tomb in Leicester Cathedral

Question Time to be broadcast from St Paul's Cathedral for the first time

A year ago St Paul’s Cathedral found itself embroiled in debate with the Occupy movement, and now the cathedral looks set to engage in debate again when it hosts Question Time this month.

Postcard from... Cologne

Archbishops of Canterbury and York to tweet sermons

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York will tweet their sermons for the first time today to “bring the meaning of Christmas to a new digital audience”.

Archbishop of Westminster attacks gay marriage plan

Leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England said there was no mandate to enforce same-sex marriage laws

Newtown mourns its dead

Bells toll in memory of school shooting victims

Bells tolled at houses of worship across the country Friday morning — including most prominently at Washington National Cathedral and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception — in memory of those who died tragically in Newtown, Connecticut, last week.

<p>1. Church of St Peter and St Paul, Guildford, Surrey</p>
<p>23 December, free, 01483 202594</p>
<p>Wrap up warm to hear the carols in this ancient church. Mulled wine and mince pies should help to keep you toasty, though.</p>

The 10 Best carol services

From candlelit concerts to the famous King’s College Choir, we pick the best of this year’s celebrations of song

Collaborator: Harvey, centre, with the conductors Ilan Volkov, left, and Stefan Solyom

Professor Jonathan Harvey: Composer whose work spanned electronic and church music

He was a gifted cellist, and his work remained rooted in the practicalities of performance

Alyokhina, 24, is serving a two-year sentence for a raucous protest against President Vladimir Putin

Pussy Riot member in single cell after clash with other inmates

One of the jailed Pussy Riot punk protesters, Maria Alyokhina, has been moved to a single-person cell at her own request because of tensions with follow prisoners, Russia's federal penitentiary service said today.

Freed feminist Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich

Pussy Riot prisoners sack lawyers who 'cashed in on fame'

Legal team hit back by claiming that freed member of activist trio is a Kremlin collaborator

Female Church of England clergy walk into the venue of the three-day

Supporters of women bishops expect their prayers to be answered at last

The General Synod votes today as the traditionalists make  a last-ditch stand

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New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
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The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
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Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

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Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

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Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
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