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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".

Vicars' retirement savings in jeopardy, says pension expert

A vicars' pension scheme could be facing a precarious future unless church chiefs face up to a potential massive deficit.

The dedication ceremony at the Church of Scientology's worldwide spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, last month

Church versus state: Scientology faces unholy war after court ruling

The Supreme Court judgment  has profound consequences, meaning it could gain charitable status – and opens the floodgates to claims by other organisations

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury (right) speaks with John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, as the Church of England General Synod debated the principle of allowing women bishops

Breakthrough? Church of England moves step closer to women bishops as General Synod backs new proposals

Church governing body votes massively in favour to support their introduction - but with guidance for parishes that reject female ministry

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu

'Church of England is one generation away from extinction': Time to end arguments, says Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu

Criticism comes as after former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, told a conference that more must done to attract young people into the Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury: I'm told to stick to God when I intervene in politics

Justin Welby defends right of Christians to speak out on political issues

Pakistan bus bomb kills at least 17

Death toll is expected to rise from bus carrying 70 passengers

The Archbishop of Canterbury has challenged the characterisation of people on benefits as 'feckless'

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns 'demonising' characterisation of benefit claimants

Justin Welby’s comments will be interpreted as a veiled attack on ministers’ generalisations

A two bedroom maisonette to rent in Westbrook Gardens, Margate, at £150 per week, on with New Space Margate.

Rents now £1 away from highest ever level

Number of tenants up nearly 14% in last 12 months though 'reluctant landlords' figures are dropping

Controversial company says profits after tax rose 36 per cent to £62.5 million during 2012

Payday lender Wonga rakes in over £1m in profits a week

Controversial company says profits after tax rose 36 per cent to £62.5 million

'Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine' - church sign attacking homophobia goes viral

Pro-gay signboard photo has attracted over one million online views

Murder victim Stephen Lawrence

GCSE results: Closure threat fails to dent motivation at Stephen Lawrence school

The threat of closure has failed to dent the motivation of pupils at the school where murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence was taught as they achieved record results in their GCSE exams.

Dr Rowan Williams at Canterbury Cathedral

Rowan Williams is right to tell supposed ‘persecuted’ Christians to grow up

In recent years much of the Christian community in the West has become fixated with the idea of its own ill-treatment, fulminating over any piddling little incident

'Abuse' probe to include deceased members of clergy

The Diocese of York is to open files on deceased members of its clergy dating back more than six decades as part of an investigation into alleged cases of child abuse, it was reported.

Christians in America and Britain who claim they are persecuted should "grow up", says former Archbishop Rowan Williams

'Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable' Dr Williams tells Edinburgh audience

Simon Read: Archbishop's payday plan isn't' a solution to debt misery

I understand why The Most Rev Justin Welby spoke out this week about his intention to "compete" the payday lenders out of business. But the Archbishop of Canterbury's approach to the problems caused by high-cost credit companies won't lead to the right solution.

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JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

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The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
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The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
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Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
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Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
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All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game