Notebook

Abseiling down the spire, finding stag beetles and singing hymns are among the 50 best things you can do in a church, according to a social media campaign initiated by the National Churches Trust, the charity that promotes and supports the UK’s heritage of church buildings.

Doodles discovered in a medieval religious manuscript were probably the work of young children who were supposed to be studying.

Two major traditionalist gatherings took place last week – both apparently at odds with the direction of Pope Francis’ papacy.

A monastery for an enclosed order of Benedictine Nuns in Yorkshire has been named as one of Britain’s best new buildings in a national architecture competition.

First, you had scientists and archaeologists working together following the discovery of the skeleton of King Richard III in a car park in Leicester in 2012. Now, the BBC reports that investigators are using ground-penetrating radar at Reading Abbey in a bid to uncover the high altar where King Henry I is buried.

The best political diaries are often written by people at a slight angle to the centre of power rather than those right at the middle. For instance, Bernard Donoughue’s accounts of his days as a young political adviser in the 1970s were more revealing and vastly more entertaining than the memoirs of his bosses, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.

The best political diaries are often written by people at a slight angle to the centre of power rather than those right at the middle. For instance, Bernard Donoughue’s accounts of his days as a young political adviser in the 1970s were more revealing and vastly more entertaining than the memoirs of his bosses, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.

When Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, lambasted Ireland for its lack of Catholic intellectuals last week, his outspokenness caused a few raised eyebrows. Some suggested that the Church only has itself to blame, given how alienated many thinking people have become over its record on issues such as child abuse.

Have you ever wanted to know what the Pope eats for breakfast? Now you can ask him yourself, thanks to a new website that aims to build a dialogue between the social-media generation and Francis.

Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla, former secretary to Pope Saint John XXIII, died last week in Bergamo, aged 100.

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