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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".

The women bishops vote was a profoundly emotional experience, and it ended in disaster

Andreas Whittam Smith was among those deliberating

Editorial: A decision that leaves the Church in the past

The CofE will have less credibility after the rejection of women bishops
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

Retired bishop Peter Ball held in child sex abuse investigation

A retired bishop has been arrested over suspicions that he sexually abused children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Danny Rogers on PR: How to detoxify the CofE brand?

Gambling, misogyny, homosexuality were the themes around a major appointment last week. But this wasn't about an England football captain. It was a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

Priority one for the next Archbishop of Canterbury: Get the books in holy order

As the next Archbishop of Canterbury in all but name made his way into the Houses of Parliament, a police officer made a point of congratulating him on his new post. The response of Bishop Justin Welby was to laugh and raise his hands self-deprecatingly in defence.

Profile: Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham

In 1983, life was going well for Justin Welby. An executive for French oil giant Elf, he became a father for the first time and his career was on an upward spiral. Then tragedy struck and his path took a new direction, first through despair and ultimately to residency in Lambeth Palace.

Editorial: Turn right to buy weapons, left for the Church

Arms companies will be out in force at next week's RAF conference to explore "Strategic Partnerships for Air Power". Nothing unusual about that, one might say. Military top brass from Britain and the US, plus chiefs of staff from Brazil, Qatar and Sweden, will be at events sponsored by big names such as Lockheed Martin and MBDA missile systems.

George Pratt's faith in atheism: Scouts must Promise to Obey - and if they don't, they're out

The Scouts’ exclusion of atheist children is not a demand for faith, it is a demand for unquestioning obedience.

Editorial: In choosing a leader, the Church chooses its future

The deadlock inside the electoral college tasked with choosing a new Archbishop of Canterbury has been said to reveal that the available candidates are not good enough or that the appointments system is dysfunctional. But that is not the problem. The reason is that there is no real agreement within the Church as to what its role should be in a largely secular society at the start of the 21st century.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, left, and Rowan Williams

John Sentamu snubbed – and Church may take months to name new Archbishop

John Sentamu, the charismatic Archbishop of York, appears to have been snubbed in the hunt for a successor to Rowan William, amid claims that church leaders are in "deadlock" and could take months to nominate a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

Jerome Taylor: Secrecy reflects poorly on the Church

He is, we are told, the moral voice of the nation. A man (sadly it still has to be a man) who has the task of leading Britain's Anglicans, speaking as the nation's conscience and herding the 77 million cats that make up the Anglican Communion in the rest of the world, many of whom would rather stone a gay man than embrace him.

'Pure elation, pure relief' - stepfather's delight at Megan Stammers being found safe and well in France

The phone call that Martin Stammers and his family had spent seven long, arduous days hoping – indeed praying – for finally came shortly before lunchtime today.

Church of England likely to move to the right

The Church of England is likely to take a swing to the right as a conclave of powerful figures from within the Anglican Communion meets to decide who should become the new Archbishop of Canterbury over the coming days.

Is the Church finally facing up to its failings?

An inquiry by the Archbishop of Canterbury has shed further light on the scandal which lies at the heart of the Church of England diocese in Chichester.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment