New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
Caption competition >

Caption competition


Click to enlarge

Our next competition

Have a go at our next caption-competition picture (above). Entries must reach us by Friday 5 September.

by email to:

by post (postcards only) to: Caption Competition, Church Times,  3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG

by fax to: 020 7490 7093


Our last competition


Click to enlarge

His retirement present was a walking holiday on the Sea of Galilee

Edward Mynors


THE inflatable retirement present for the outgoing Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd John Goddard (a reference to a canal incident, we understand), brought plenty of suggestions from our readers.

Baptism references were inev-itable. "Following the unfortunate incident at the last Full Immersion Baptism, the Bishop was relieved to announce that armbands would be worn in future" (Audrey Rawlins); "The Health and Safety Executive now requires all candidates for baptism to wear armbands: blue symbolising purity and red our Lord's Passion" (Joy Saunders); and "The Bishop prepared for the inaugural baptism in Glasgow Cathedral's new Olympic-sized font" (George Frost).

That and walking on water: "The Brownies' perfect retirement gift: ankle bands to help the Bishop walk on water" (Hazel Butland); and "Claims to walk on water are inflated, investigators say" (Liz Breuilly). As well as other biblical events: "With his passing resemblance to Noah, the Bishop decided to prepare for the next flood" (Chris Coupe); "And if the Red Sea doesn't part on our pilgrimage, there is a Plan B" (Carolyne Leatherland).

There were several references to Bishop Goddard's traditionalist views: "Despite the rescinding of the Act of Synod, Bishop John's future as a floating bishop was secure" (Joseph Brookfield); "This is what you need for swimming against the tide of the age" (Chris Coupe); and "Gloves on - we traditionalists are now ready to defend our corner" (David Leeming).

Also, speculation on the Bishop's plans: "Was a move to the Baptists on the cards?" (Vicky Lundberg); "The Bishop was clearly delighted to show off the latest episcopal accoutrement for those in communion with the Sea of Rome" (Richard Strudwick); and "Now I can safely cross the Tiber" (Janet Stockton).

To most readers, these were clearly armbands. Not to all, however: "At least the restraints were modern, comfortable and surprisingly easy to remove", and "Sadly His Reverence would need much more training before taking up his new career as a sex therapist" (both Eric Lishman); "And these from the archdeacon - on special offer at Ann Summers, I gather" (Nicholas Varnon); "The Bishop rejoiced that his outsize stress-balls were now redundant" (Ray Morris); and "The Bishop's celebratory farewell fandango was somewhat let down by the ineffective inflatable castanets" (Jonathan Haigh).

A few at random: "The Bishop is preparing to let his supporters down, he revealed today" (Liz Breuilly); "For many years he had been a Fisher of Men, but now, at last, he could venture into deeper waters" (Alison Rollin); "The Bishop was delighted with his gift as his retirement home is on the flood plain" (Vivien Moores); "Look what I got from the See of Burnley" (Dennis Garland); and "In case the roof leaks, everyone will be issued with these" (Chris Coupe).

Also: "The diocese gave Bishop John an environmentally friendly, do-it-yourself leaving present: a chance to go round the world" (Sue Chick); "Oh for the wings, the wings of a dove" (Robert Shooter); and "Yes, it's Christian Buoyancy Aid Week" (Kevin Walsh).

We liked: "Panic over! The Bishop was relieved to discover the source of reports of armed bandits in the vestry" (Andrew Knight); "The bands were announced for the third time of asking" (Richard Barnes); and "Fr Eldred's Mick Jagger impression was always the highlight of the clergy retreat" (Russ Bravo).

Our thanks, once again, to Divine for supplying our prize of fairtrade chocolate (

Job of the week

Assistant Chaplain & UK Director

London and Home Counties

Zacharias Trust Assistant Chaplain & UK Director Salary: £45,000-£47,500 plus benefits (experience dependent) Oxford (37.5 hours per week) We have an exciting opportunity for an Assist...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Making money work for others

Making money work for others

Continuing our Lent series on aspects of money, Matthew Bishop explores the links between philanthropy and faith  Subscribe to read more

Top comment

Doing without bacon rolls and paintball

To base ‘men’s ministry’ on tired stereotypes is not necessary, and may be unhelpful, argues Anne Bennett  Subscribe to read more

Mon 27 Mar 17 @ 19:13
How TAP brings a smile Will you help to #trainapriest?

Mon 27 Mar 17 @ 17:28
Kathryn Wehr follows C. S. Lewis’s example and revisits Dorothy L. Sayers’s radio plays on the life of Christ