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Photo of Mark Dowd as a boy, the author of Queer and Catholic
When he was eight, Mark Dowd, raised in a working class Catholic family, gained a new best friend. It was the boy from the Persil ad on TV, who had short blond hair and whiter than white rugby kit. It was the beginning of his 'life of contradiction', which he explores in his newly-published memoir, Queer and Catholic.
Whatever Happened to Billy Shears   A new voyage for Ship of Fools
We're building a new Ship of Fools, complete with a comedy and comment blog. Find out how you can support us on this exciting new voyage.
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Bosoms and ebenezers   Bosoms and ebenezers
Simon Jenkins delves into his copy of Hymns Ancient and Freudian, and discovers that sex and hymns have a lot more in common than you might think.
A visitor's eye-view of church
Anne Richards asks: How can churches welcome people so they don't end up feeling invisible and lonely?
Whatever happened to Billy Shears?
Steve Goddard's new novel bridges the 1967 world of Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love, and the world of now.
Trekking the Camino
One of our best-travelled Mystery Worshippers has been on the back roads of Spain on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
Upside down Bible
A new book looks at Jesus's parables through the eyes of atheists, trade unionists and sex workers. Symon Hill explains.
Judging by numbers
Fiona Gibson responds to megachurch pastor Andy Stanley's comment that parents who take their children to small churches are "stinking selfish".
Hairshirt for Archbush
Canterbury's hairiest Archbishop of the past 1,000 years has been awarded his very own t-shirt, with Darwin, Freud and Dickens.
Quizzed about the sermon
The Mystery Worshipper visits Westminster Chapel and is quizzed in the coffee queue about the sermon.
Beware the warrior archaeologists
Rowan Williams explains how 'warrior archaeologists' are manipulating the past and using it as a weapon.
Religion must be a laughing matter
In the wake of the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, Simon Jenkins argues that all religions need to be satirised.
Love, secrets and footie
Tim Pike reviews Steve Goddard's novel, Rattles and Rosettes, the story of two football fans living a century apart.
Holy smoke!
Introducing our first print publication in more than two decades, a novel embracing the WW1 trenches and football.
God and cake at the Sunday Assembly
The Mystery Worshipper calls in on godless church the Sunday Assembly in Belfast.
The canon, the dean and the wardrobe
A Mystery Worshipper is on hand to witness CS Lewis inducted into Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey.
Shaming the tiger
Gavin Drake investigates the unravelling story of kung fu champion turned prison evangelist Tony Anthony.
Holy dispenser!
Put an end to deadly raging epidemics breaking out at your communion services with this handy host dispenser.
Global warm-up
The death of ecosystems is hardly laugh-a-minute stuff, but comedian Paul Kerensa performs a set on climate change.
 
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