IN OUR last caption competition, we ought to have reminded readers that not all bishops wear purple shirts. Our picture actually shows two bishops, Steven Croft, the Bishop of Sheffield, and Glyn Webster, the Bishop of Beverley.
Consequently, a few entries set off down the wrong track, though some ended up in the right place, such as “Priest: ‘I once threw a pot, Bishop, and it hit my churchwarden.’ Bishop: ‘Well done. Would you like to be my suffragan?’’ and “If my pot looks nice, can I be a bishop, too?”
In the following entries, we have applied a little light editing; but in any case, we’re sure Bishop Webster won’t mind the occasional demotion.
The puns seemed endless: “One good turn deserves another?” (Chris Coupe); “The Church of England is getting pottier by the day” (Patrick Irwin); “Some bishops like to potter about the diocese” (Alexander Faludy); and “In this diocese, Post-Ordination Training really was potty training” (Patrick Irwin).
Car puns: “We only said, ‘We’ll be OK at the wheel’” (Janet Stockton); “When the bishop offered him a turn behind the wheel, Fr John thought he had a new car” (Wendy Walker); “When the bishops were invited by Jeremy Clarkson for a quick spin at the wheel, they forgot he no longer hosted Top Gear” (John Penny).
Two in the same vein: “In honour of Jeremiah Chapter 18, the Church Times sponsored a round in The Great British Throw Down” (John Radford); and “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?’ (Romans 9.20)” (John Smith).
A few more general entries: “The first to finish the collection plate can have first go at taking it around the congregation” (Brian Simmons); “The bishop gave a hands-on demonstration to the new training incumbent as to how to shape his curate” (Chris Coupe); “At this rate, the bishop would have a new dinner service by Christmas” (Patrick Irwin); “Only one thing could save him from pottery competition humiliation. The bishop resorted to epiclesis” (Caspar Bush); “The real test would come when they were tried in the furnace” and “They’d misunderstood the invitation to minister to China” (both Tom Page).
We liked the jargon-busting: “There was a competition to model a fresh expression of church” (Malcolm Fair); together with: “It was less Fresh Expression, more Messy Church” (Peter Richbell). And this week’s Green-report joke: “The talent pool had its first lesson in the laying-on of hands” (Richard Barnes).
A few more at random: “Couldn’t we just buy a new font?” (Wendy Walker); “‘Let’s roll up our sleeves and get stuck in’ hadn’t been a metaphor, the bishop regretted” (Derwyn Williams); “The training for Anglican spin doctors had taken an unusual turn” (Tom Page).
We liked: “Are we making mugs of ourselves?” (Valerie Budd); “The training team had put the invitations in the wrong envelopes; the Messy Church trainees were elsewhere attending a seminar on Barthian ethics” (Ray Morris); “Pottery patens pending” (Richard Barnes); and “Peter was determined not to be set in any particular mould” (Sue Chick).
We have chosen two winners again this week, both of whom receive their prizes of Fairtrade chocolate courtesy of Divine (divinechocolate.com). And if chocolate Advent calendars are your thing, Divine’s is available from its website, or from www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/divine.