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Caption competition

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Women bishops? Frankly, my dear, I don't give a Dame
Richard Barnes

Option 5. . .
David Newman

AS ONE of our contributors (Rowan Williams, not the former Archbishop) put it: "The Bishop realised he should not have kept 'Please don't let me end up in the caption competition' for his fourth wish." Not so much a photo, then, more a mugging of the Bishop of Dover - though in the best possible spirit.

Well, it was obvious what subject readers would go for. "The arguments for an all-male episcopate suddenly made sense" (Christopher Lewis); "After the third glass, the Bishop felt he recognised a new dimension to women's ministry" (John Gardiner); "With the advent of positive discrimination for women bishops, the chaps took ex-treme measures to be selected themselves" (Vicky Lundberg); and "When addressing the men's breakfast at St Hilda's, the Bishop had referred to the women-bishops debate as a huge drag. Some of them took him seriously" (John Hutchinson).

Otherwise, it was a question of which church dignitary they wished to insult: "The Ugly Sisters radiated authenticity but the casting of the bishop as Prince Charming lacked conviction" (Jonathan Haigh); "Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby declare the General Synod open for business" (Marcus Booth); "The 'Come as the Diocesan Chancellor' theme had been a great success" (Steve Tilley); "The diocesan chancellors threatened to sue the Church Times for its unflattering exposé of the Creative Arts Retreat: 'Common Worship Liturgical Wigs'" (Nicholas Varnon).

Richard Barnes had worked the hardest, especially with: "Now hands that do Blessings can feel soft as your Grace; with mild mauve Fairy Godmother" and "The first hymn is, 'When I survey the wondrous cross-dressing.'" And Jonnie Parkin sent in a few, among them: "Pectoral Cross Dressing" and "That awkward moment when you arrive at the House of Bishops end-of-Synod party not in fancy dress."

Otherwise there were: "Look Bishop, there's the star above. It is the Three Queens: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. I was right!" (William Petts); "Ordination selection procedures have changed significantly in the past ten years" (Don Manley); "The latest batch of Vino Sacro certainly packed a punch" (Sue Chick); and "I don't fancy yours, Bishop" (John Aves).

 Two similar entries: "I've changed my mind about the wig and decided to save up for a hair transplant instead - cheers!" (Rob Stevenson); and "Having considered the al- ternative therapies, the Bishop decided he would make do with what remained of his own hair and teeth" (Charles Taylor).

We also had: "The bishop felt in need of a stiff drink as his three wishes materialised in a manner not quite as he'd envisaged" (Richard Strudwick); and "At the Mothers' Union singles night the Bishop decided the best strategy would be to keep smiling and back away slowly" (Kate Bottley).

Two winners (above, right), both of whom will receive some Fairtrade chocolate courtesy of Divine (divinechocolate.com): one pun, one in-joke.

 

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