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Caption Competition

“Tell matron that Miss Waddle’s room should be available soon” Rob Falconer

THE INBOX was fuller than normal for the latest Church Times caption competition, and there were some great entries, i.e. very few puns. There were a few worth repeating, though: “The answer to the charade was: ‘Epée days are here again’” (Neil Inkley); “Florrie was determined to foil Gertie’s attempts to monopolise the most comfortable chair at the rest centre, but Gertie just didn’t get the point” (Barbara Brown); and “To keep happy, the pensioners took advice from Ecclesiastes 7.3, where ‘Zorro is better than laughter’” (Arthur Hack).

There are a few soft targets in these competitions, and readers can be relied on to go for them mercilessly. First, the deanery synod: “It was a fight to the death for a place on deanery synod” (John Radford); and “Feelings ran high between some of the younger members of deanery synod over the choices outlined in the Manchester report” (Robin Saunders).

Then the Mothers’ Union: “The turf war between the MU and the WI was to be settled in the traditional manner” (John Toogood); and: “Although a tie in the vote for branch leader was rare, the MU had a long-established procedure for resolving it” (David Sparkes).

Moving on: “The Mothers’ Union extreme knitting club was about to cast on” (David Young); “A very palpable knit” (Mary Wells); and: “‘Knit one!’ ‘Purl one!’ roared the frenzied onlookers” (Jo Williams).

The best of the fencing gags were: “The Third Age group tested the maxim: ‘Good fencers make good neighbours’” from Tim Garthwaite; “The ladies of the parish weren’t convinced by the vicar’s suggestion that a fence around the church hall would deter unwelcome visitors, but were willing to give it a try” from Adrian Wall; and “What I meant was I was interested in learning how to build a wooden garden enclosure” from Valerie Falconer.

Robin Isherwood has been overdosing on EastEnders: “‘I’ll ’ave you, you old slag. I saw ’im first!’ yelled Edna. But Leonard didn’t give a monkeys. He just sat there practising wheelies”. Giles Godber clearly has issues: “All members of the Forward in Faith youth group were trained to fight to the death in defence of their clergy’s prejudices”. And Nicholas Cranfield is clearly not seeking preferment any time soon: “Lady Carey’s suggestion that the bishops’ wives at the Lambeth Conference be left to entertain themselves was perhaps a mistake”.

Otherwise, there was a good mixture of entries: “The 2052 Anglican Olympics had become a bit of a farce” (Don Manley); “The fight in the old people’s home started when Elsie and Maude argued over whose turn it was to gather the honey from the hives in the garden” (Marcus Booth); “A surge of impatience swept over God’s waiting room” (Alan Horton); “D’Artagnan’s granny shatters the tedium of the rest home” (Ann Rance); “I thought they’d turn into ploughshares before it got to this stage” (Sue Johnson); and “Matron had trouble getting Betty to take her pills” (John Haskell).

We particularly liked: “After Deirdre lost her stick, it was only a matter of time before Mabel stepped in for the kill” (Mike Butterworth); “Armed with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, Sister Teresa still needed the walking stick of steadfastness” (Rachel Phillips); and “Suddenly, Doris began to regret having trumped Hilda’s ace. She might have known that wouldn’t be the last of it” (Derek Hollis). Stuart Jennings: “By three strikes to one, the kitchen-development committee chose light veneer work surfaces”, and Brian Jenner: “Now let’s see who gets to do the altar flowers”, came close. It all made it hard to choose who should receive the prize of fairtrade chocolate, kindly donated by Divine (

Have a go at our next caption-competition picture (above).

Send your captions by 13 June by email to:

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