IT WAS our own fault. Featuring a bear in a caption competition
was bound to attract puns. And quite often readers didn't stop at
one or two. Two examples came from Dennis Garland: "Just a
little farther Ted" and "He's very highly
strung". As Don Manley said: "Bear with us as we
try to sort out all the Church's hang-ups."
More in this strain: "When Father Ted finally woke up
next morning, he felt very hung over" (Gavin Douglas);
"I thought the contract for the new lighting specified
LEDs" (Richard Barnes); "Should there be hangings,
or should the walls be bare? The PCC agreed on a
compromise" (Richard Martin); and "I thought we
were supposed to bear one another's burdens, not burden one
another's bear" (Jim Pye).
There were plenty of other sorts of entry: "While all
acknowledged that Rupert was naughty in the toy service, stringing
up his teddy was a drastic response from the vicar" (Vicky
Lundberg); "Greatest Olympic Moments Re-enacted. No. 23:
Boris and the zip-wire" (John Swanson); "Just how
it had got a faculty was the real mystery" (Sr Therese
OJN); "Uriel didn't resemble his fellow
Archangels" (Sonia Falaschi Ray).
Chris Coupe submitted several entries, among them: "The
new synodical measures for dissenting PCC members were aptly
demonstrated to one and all"; "It was announced
that the teddy bear would be left in place until the toddler group
paid their room-hire fees"; and "It occurred to
onlookers that eventually the stuffing would fall out of the bear,
and then he could be offered full church membership."
In no particular order: "That was the last time the
engineering department of the regional college would be allowed to
hold their celebrations in the cathedral" (Richard Hough);
"The rest of the Sunday school refused to try it"
(Valerie Budd); and "Pooh sighed. How he loved to tease his
traditionalist friend Piglet. But now he sensed that with the one
about the woman bishop he had crossed a line" (Caspar
Bush); "The all-age service on the theme 'Friend, come up
higher', which was illustrated with a borrowed visual aid, ended
disastrously when the curate discovered that what goes up doesn't
necessarily come down" (Christopher Tookey).
We are sorry to report intergenerational rivalry in the Parkin
family. John Parkin suggested: "Because of his poor
eyesight, the cross-eyed bear had not seen the huge spider's
web." His son, Jonnie, responded with ten submissions,
among them: "If you look up to the rood today, you're sure
of a big surprise. . ." But, stung by his father's success
last time round, he also submitted: "Some people may think
that John Parkin is funny, but this is how he treated Jonnie
Parkin's soft toys."
We also had: "Admittedly, the churchwarden had wondered
why the computer required a new soft-bear installation under the
windows" (Jon Glossop); and "First it was the
badgers, now it's the turn of the bears" (Richard
There are two winners this week (left), both of whom
will receive Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine (divine
Have a go at our next caption-competition picture (above).
Entries to reach us by Friday 19 October.
by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
by post (postcards only) to:
Caption Competition, Church Times, Invicta House, 3rd Floor,
108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG
by fax to: 020 7490 7093
The Sunday-school children now understood just why they had to
The diocesan registrar had misunderstood the Bishop's
instructions to suspend Father Ted