For two thousand years, churches have been used primarily as places of worship. Now, some are being transformed to fit in with a changing society.
Church re-ordering, as it's known, describes the adaptation of religious buildings for non-religious use. Drama groups, craft exhibtions and even cafes have started making appearances in church.
Tom Savvides reports from Kingsnorth, where a mediaeval building has been updated for modern times.
For the first time Church of England ministers are to be trained in Portsmouth. The Diocese will see a new centre created for clergy and lay ministers - it will mean they won't need to be sent away to theological college.
The Reverend of Southampton's oldest black church is praying for those affected by the Charleston Church massacre.Read the full story ›
28c3 mobile to Church Road Fleet . A church 100% involved in fire . 5 pumps & ALP attending . More to follow
A gothic style church has been voted the best tourist attraction in the coastal region of Thanet. St Augustine in Ramsgate was given the top spot by visitors on website TripAdvisor.
Some of the comments include-
"Loved this church which has been restored beautifully - friendly volunteers who were keen to share their knowledge with us. Beautiful."
"Wonderful building and lovely interior. Interesting layout and passion tableau. [F]riendly steward who took time to explain about the architect and the buildings. Serene atmosphere and beautiful colours. Opportunity to light candles and buy postcards and homemade preserves."
The Grade II-listed wall of Reading's St Laurence Church which has been propped up with scaffolding for three decades will be repaired. The Borough Council's planning committee approved plans to demolish and rebuild five sections of the wall and rebuild them on new concrete foundations.
Plans have been approved to demolish five sections of the wall and rebuild them on new concrete foundations where necessary and reusing existing bricks. The work programme has been backed by English Heritage, but must be approved by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.
The wall is the retaining wall of St Laurence Churchyard. The churchyard is now closed but had been conducting burials for hundreds of years. The borough council has responsibility for maintaining 'closed' churchyards.
The church is a Grade I-listed Norman building and any work will have to take account of the archaeology of the site, the sensitivity of dealing with human remains and the preservation of the trees.
The wall was built in the mid-16th Century at the request of Queen Mary to enlarge the churchyard. It has medieval flint facing with repairs from the 16th, 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries.
A band of 19th Century brickwork contrasts with the older sections beneath. A tree fell last winter and damaged part of the wall near the gateway. The wall forms a key part of the Abbey Quarter Project which is the subject of a second Heritage Lottery bid after the first one failed.
But the wall is to be repaired using cash from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund because its repair will open up an important town centre pavement which is currently unusable.
Where do you turn when you want a loan? A bank? A building society? A friend? How about your local church! Well this morning, Kent's first "community bank" to be held in a church opened its doors for savers and borrowers.
Last year the Archbishop of Canterbury promised to do more to help people affected by debt, and to provide alternatives to high-interest "pay day loans". But are financial services really what the church should be involved in?
David Johns reports, speaking to the Rt Rev Trevor Wilmott, Bishop of Dover; parish priest Rev Lesley Jones; financial expert Justin Urquhart Stewart; and headteacher Patricia Hatt.
A church car park was closed after 25 litres of Hydrochloric acid spilled from a container in Faringdon, Oxfordshire. It happened at 10.15am yesterday. The container and the spill were quickly contained and cleared up by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue crews dressed in protective equipment.
Incident Commander Station Manager Mike Adcock said: 'The quick action of members of the public in calling the Fire and Rescue Service, enabled the service to arrive promptly and effectively deal with the spill.'
Politicians and celebrities have been naming their favourite churches, including some very special buildings in our region - among them the favourites of Prime Minister David Cameron and UKIP leader Nigel Farage. David Wood reports.
It was a bit of a leap of faith: A small community of Staplehurst Free Church near Maidstone pulled down their old building - and then began the urgent task of raising money for a new one.
And they aimed high. The hundred strong congregation needed more than a million pounds for their new church.
Hard work, sponsored walks, church fetes, and bring-and-buys - and a grant, got them the money they needed.
Kevin Harrison has been speaking to Ryan Ahern, the Assistant Pastor and Architect Richard Hawks. Click on the link above to see his report.