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
His retirement present was a walking holiday on the Sea
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"
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
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"
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 (divinechocolate.com).