Travel Shore leave: a sunset stroll

In this week's Lonely Planet 'Great Escape', be the first to catch the Australian sunrise, then re-align your chakras on the shores of New South Wales's blissed-out beach retreat

'Thou shalt not wear trainers!' - Pope Francis reveals he worked as a bouncer in Buenos Aires

During an informal chat with followers the 266th Pope revealed that as student he worked in a bar and did some work as a bouncer

Muslim men attend prayer at the East London Mosque

Government crackdown on radicals 'will lead to attacks on Muslims'

Under the proposals, Islamist radicals face being expelled from mosques, Muslim community groups and universities in a fight-back against fundamentalism

Martin McSherry has an idea of stacking coffins in a high-rise tower in Oslo

Norway's vertical cemetery idea destined to die

A daily reminder of mortality towering over Oslo may not to be everyone’s taste, but a young architect has earned a commendation for his plans to build Norway’s first vertical cemetery.

Pope Francis arrives to conduct his weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square

'A new tyranny': Pope Francis attacks unfettered capitalism and says rich should share wealth

Pontiff calls for major change - but reiterates church's opposition to abortion and the ordination of female priests

Fighting turns sectarian as militias battle rebels in Central African Republic

About 2,000 people have sought refuge in a Catholic mission after heavy fighting broke out in the volatile north-west, aid workers said.

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

Theatre review: Our Ajax, Southwark Playhouse, London

Inspired by Sophocles tragedy Ajax, Timberlake Wertenbaker's new play updates the action to a modern-day warzone; the sand-covered stage naturally evokes Afghanistan.

The Duke of York laying a wreath as he joined soldiers in Camp Bastion; Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha leave Downing Street; Queen Elizabeth II pays her respects at the Cenotaph in central London

Church of England hits back at Secular Society in row over ditching religion from Remembrance Day ceremony

Church calls group's suggestion 'rather sad', 'misjudged' and 'misguided'

Messianic Judaism – the best of both creeds

For Jews to become Christians, do they have to renounce their Jewish way of life?

Review: What A Wonderful World, By Marcus Chown

Reading a well-written popular science book is one of the great pleasures of modern times, and this guided tour through life, the universe, and everything affords that pleasure in abundance. Marcus Chown takes us by the hand and leads us through the labyrinthine mysteries of the origins of life, evolution, the cells of the body, the brain-boggling brain, electricity (I’ve never understood what that stuff is; I still don’t, but my ignorance is now better-defined), the crazy truths of quantum theory, gravity, time, stars, and black holes. You can get drunk on the sheer strangeness of the theories – for instance, you have an infinite number of doppelgangers, and the nearest one is 10^10^28 metres away. And we may all be holograms.

Increase in parents complaining about activities of evangelical Christian groups who have been allowed into schools 'to convert pupils'

Growing numbers of parents are complaining about the activities of evangelical Christian groups who have been allowed into schools whose clear intent is to convert pupils to their religion, according to a study out today.

State schools ‘an open door for evangelical groups to push creationism,’ warns study

National Secular Society calls on Government to introduce stricter codes of conduct

Tommy Robinson feels he can no longer keep extremists in the party at bay

Tommy Robinson has left the EDL. But this is a change of key, not a change of message

He has not denounced the principles that the EDL still stands for

American TV evangelist Pat Robertson slams low-carb diets for 'violating' God's principles

Robertson was on a news programme discussing the importance of carbohydrates

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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
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick