Women bishops? Frankly, my dear, I don't give a
Option 5. . .
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
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.