News Emergency workers battle to contain the flames

Grade-two listed Victorian terrace was left a shell

1m pocket guides issued for Pope's UK visit

A million copies of a handbook including hymns, prayers and articles about the Pope's visit will be distributed to parishes across England, Scotland and Wales, the Catholic Church said today.

Catholic Church struggles to raise funds for Pope's visit

With just over a month to go before the Pope arrives in Britain, the Catholic Church is facing a £2.6m shortfall in donations needed to pay for the visit.

Papal visit will see public paying up to £25 for a ticket

The faithful are to be charged up to £25 a head to see Pope Benedict XVI when he comes to Britain later this year.

Jay-Z, Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, London

Jay-Z is not a humble man, nor should he be. A colossus of modern urban music, he has achieved a level of popularity in the industry and with all walks of the public unrivalled by his contemporaries. What was clear from his performance at London's Wireless festival was that he didn't scale these heights through charm alone.

Kings of Leon, Hyde Park, London

Just how have Kings of Leon got so big? For ages they were no more than a middleweight indie band with a little bit of underground cachet and a smattering of profile. Suddenly, they're everywhere, headlining festivals, rocking daytime radio playlists, and soundtracking Saturday afternoons in Argos.

Grizzly Bear, Serpentine Sessions, Hyde Park, London

It was with their championed 2009 album Veckatimest that Brooklyn quartet Grizzly Bear jumped from cult status to being much, much bigger. Their Glastonbury show on the festival's Other Stage on Sunday had the crowds and critics talking, while at tonight's Serpentine Sessions they attract such adoration that their fans throw roses onto the stage exclaiming, "We love you!"

Bruce Anderson: Of course traditional architecture is better

Any fair-minded person should ask themselves why this creative, dedicated, and invaluable public servant is subjected to so much captious denigration

Lives Remembered: Harry Baldwin

When Harry Baldwin was growing up in south London, political meetings on Sunday mornings and evenings were a feature of social life. His father introduced him to these popular events, in which the Socialist Party of Great Britain (SPGB) held up to 1,000 meetings a year. Harry, who was born in Brixton on 17 October 1930 and was a conscientious objector to National Service, became a party member in 1950. He was a plumber by trade throughout his working life.

Labour takes two in by-elections

Labour gained two seats from Liberal Democrats in the latest council by-elections with just 15 weeks at most before Gordon Brown's date with destiny.

No Distance Left To Run: A Film About Blur (NC)

A rather indulgent documentary on the career-arc of Britpop's favourites, following their reformation last year and the triumphant headlining gigs at Glastonbury and Hyde Park.

Talent 2010: The entrepreneur, Callum Negus-Fancey

Callum Negus-Fancey dropped out of school in the middle of his A-Levels. Formal education, he explains, was just a little two-dimensional. Rather than continuing his studies in economics, philosophy and politics, the head-strong 20-year-old decided to pursue his burgeoning career as an underage party promoter, putting on late-night music events for 16-18 year olds.

The Sketch: He's forgotten the first rule of leadership: indifference

They have strong stomachs in the lobby. I'm not sure I can go through another one of those press conferences.

How the forces finally learnt to take pride

Nine years after the military lifted its ban on gays, the army has put an openly homosexual soldier on the cover of its magazine.

Tom Sutcliffe: An open space to remember

The Week In Culture

Blur, Hyde Park, London

Britpop for today and for tomorrow
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'