CHRISTMAS 2017 ISSUE ● Comment — Michael Simkins on the actor’s lot at Christmas ● Andrea Bocelli talks to Gabrielle Donnelly about faith ● Harry Mount recommends reading the Bible in Greek ● Princess Michael of Kent recalls befriending a cheetah cub ● The C of E is all at sea, laments Ann Widdecombe ● Melanie McDonagh on a new discovery about Santa ● Advent reflection By Stephen Wang ● Fr Dwight Longenecker takes a fresh look at the Magi ● Mary Kenny says Henry VIII was the Nigel Farage of his day ● Letters and emails — A history of the English in Rome; praise for Pope Pius XII ● Fr Raymond J de Souza looks back on an unsettled year ● Matthew Schmitz on Éric Rohmer, a devout film-maker ● Jenny McCartney says parties will be tamer this year ● Benedict Rogers was moved by Pope Francis in Burma ● Taki believes both young and old need the magic of Christmas ● Simon Caldwell on the Iraqi Christians who daren’t go home ● Reflection By Fr Thomas JosephWhite ● William Oddie on tales of Christmas from Dickens and GKC ● David Oldroyd-Bolt is full of ideas for Christmas afternoon ● Jonathan Wright recalls the Puritan hatred of Christmas ● God laughs at my festive plans, admits Melissa Kite ● Reflection — Sister Catherine Wybourne says it’s time to look again at our Nativity scenes ● Jill, Duchess of Hamilton on peace hopes in Bethlehem ● Reflection — Bishop Mark Davies glimpses the Catholic future at 30,000ft ● Ed West on England’s debt to the early Irish missionaries ● Alex Polizzi recalls her childhood family Christmases