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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".

Chris Bryant: The Church of England needs to forget its silliness about homosexuality

Anyone who has ever heard Jeffrey John preach, read his poetry or met him knows that he is a man of immense spirituality who should have been made a bishop years ago.

Davies was determined to uphold the literary reputation of his brother Rhys

Lewis Davies: Philanthropist and librarian whose generosity benefited many Welsh writers

Lewis Davies was the younger brother of the writer Rhys Davies (1901-78). Like him, he was born at Blaenclydach, a mining village near Tonypandy in the Rhondda valley. Their father kept a small grocer's shop, known rather grandly as Royal Stores, and their mother was an uncertificated schoolteacher. Lewis, born in 1913, was the youngest of their six children.

Pope Benedict XVI

Goodwill to all men – apart from the bankers

Christian leaders delivered a string of politically-charged sermons yesterday attacking financial greed – capping a year of tumultuous events that has often seen the religious establishment wrong-footed.

Occupy London protesters will be leaving St. Paul's early next year

Protesters to scale down occupation of St Paul's

Occupy London protesters are ready to leave St Paul's early next year in exchange for a scaled-down presence outside the cathedral and a "symbolic tent" within.

Head teacher Kim Halls with some of her pupils

The former teaching assistant leading one of the country's most successful primaries

Not so long ago Kim Halls was a teaching assistant who did not even have a GCSE pass in maths and English.

One eighth of primary schools fall short of government literacy and numeracy targets

One in eight primary schools have failed to reach a minimum government target for getting 60 per cent of their pupils to read, write and add up properly by the age of 11.

David Cameron has said he has 'a sort of fairly classic Church of England faith' but Richard Dawkins, right, speculated that he is not really a religious believer

Richard Dawkins questions David Cameron's beliefs

Campaigning atheist Richard Dawkins has suggested that David Cameron does not believe in God in a leading article attacking faith schools.

Church could have first women bishops by 2014

The consecration of women as Church of England bishops is all but inevitable after a vote count across the country found overwhelming support for what is often described as "shattering the stained glass ceiling".

Anglicans opt out of 'gay weddings' in church

Same-sex couples will not be able to hold civil partnership ceremonies within Church of England buildings despite the Government giving the go ahead for such celebrations to be held in places of worship for the first time.

The Faith Machine, Royal Court Theatre, London

"The real world is cruel and harsh and full of compromise," is the defensive declaration of Tom, a young New Yorker who was once an aspiring novelist and has now sold out to advertising. For Sophie, his English girlfriend, that amounts to buck-passing. The world is not a given, or an alibi; it's what you make it. So on the morning of 9/11, she confronts her lover with an ultimatum: she will dump him unless he drops the account he has landed with a pharmaceutical company that is illicitly testing its products on Ugandan children.

Christina Patterson: Let's keep 'faith' out of politics

People who are keen to bring faith groups into politics are often the ones who don't know all that much about faith

Donald Barnes: Church of England priest and prominent supporter of the ordination of women

One of the endearing characteristics of the Church of England, in times of tranquility and trauma, has been the virtuosity and variety in its parish priests. Donald Barnes, who gave nearly 60 years of service across north-west London, was a vibrant and much-loved example of the genre. But he was also someone who, in his sweeping interests and commitments, was prophetic in espousing the progressive movements – above all the movement for the ordination of women – which have revitalised Anglicanism even as they have challenged it. Barnes was ahead of that curve at a time when it was still a very brave stance to take.

Vicar held in sham marriage investigation

A Church of England vicar has been arrested on suspicion of conducting sham marriages, according to the UK Border Agency.

Who will rid us of turbulent PR man George Pitcher?

Tory MPs and many Church insiders will be glad to see the back of the Archbishop's spin doctor. Jerome Taylor on a fall from grace
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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
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?