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Caption competition

by
24 April 2015

Have a go at our next caption-competition picture (above). Entries must reach us by Friday 17 April.

Have a go at our next caption-competition picture (above). Entries must reach us by Friday 17 April.

IT IS a hard life being a bishop. "'I sometimes feel', confided the Bishop to the flower-girl, 'that our main purpose in life is to appear in Church Times caption competitions'" (Michael Foster). Quite.

We got plenty of inventive entries: "The congregation had to be boosted in numbers somehow" (Richard Hough); "She would count towards the attendance figure" (Valerie Budd); "I know I'm a flower, Bishop, but please don't get fresh with me" (William Petts); and "Is that a Fresh Expression on your face?" (Patrick Irwin).

Margaret Wallis brought out the absurdity of the situation: "The Vicar of St Alphege's had a whole range of emergency disguises in the event of an episcopal visit" and "Nobody really knew why Mrs Jones wore an artificial head whenever the Bishop came to St Boniface's."

Dating agencies were mentioned more than once: "Once again the dating agency had come up trumps" (Sandy McCulloch); "The Bishop should think seriously before consulting another dating agency" (Michael Watts); "He'd only gone to give the new Christian dating agency his blessing. So how was he going to explain this to his wife?" (Bill Scott); "Computer dating hasn't exactly worked for me, Bishop" (Eric Lishman); and "The dating agency was low on matches for bishops, but gave Derek a practice model for now; he seemed pleased" (Vicky Lundberg).

 Then there were the wives. Clare Griffiths in particular tested Bishop Kings's sense of humour: "The Bishop's wife poked him in the stomach: 'You're getting too fat, my dear!'" We also had: "The Bishop's wife used a decoy to avoid the less entertaining engagements" (George Frost); and "Meanwhile, the Bishop's wife was propped on a stand as part of the WI's display of works" (Carolyn Leatherland).

Ms Leatherland asked for contributions around her village. They're an earthy lot in Northamptonshire: among the suggestions were: "He hadn't been so in love since they released the last model"; and "The modern ones are inflatable, your Grace."

Away from the romance, there were the inevitable reversals: "Flora was amazed at how real the waxwork felt" (Vicky Redhouse); and "He shook her hand warmly enough, but Emily could not help wondering whether it was a real bishop" (Tom Corfield); and "That Vino Sacro has made you look strangely attractive, Vicar" (Eric Lishman).

More at random: "The Bishop thought the flower woman was a very good listener" (Sylvia Ruxton); "'Your tiny hand is frozen.' 'I told you that the council had axed our bus service'" (Eric Lishman); "Eliza, the parish's first robotic flower arranger, made a big impression on the bishop" (Russ Bravo); "Being an Anglican, the Bishop was very used to papier machinations, he assured the General Synod member" (David Hill); "Hattie belonged to a Millinerial sect" (Richard Barnes); and "Bo Peep sympathised with the Bishop, and advised leaving his sheep alone. It had worked for her" (David Hill).

Thanks to all our contributors. A special commendation to: "The new Bishop for Church Plants held a wide remit" (Richard Barnes); "The congregation simulator: available for all levels of clergy training. Shown here is the episcopal-handshake module" (Rosemary Corfield); "The ad had simply said: 'Genuine model wd lk to meet respectable gent.' It would seem they were both satisfied with the outcome" (Alison Rollin); and "'Fancy a good time?' said the flower arrangement to the Bishop" (Edward Mynors).

We could not decide between three entries we liked; so here they all are. Each sender will receive a bar or two of Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine.

Episcop Alley: where bishops and actresses ply their trade

Richard Barnes 

It was always such a relief to find someone who would come to Back to Church Sunday

Caspar Bush 

He was a bishop, she was a class project, this is their story

Carolyn Leatherla

Have a go at our next caption-competition picture. Entries must reach us by Friday 1 May.

by email to: captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk

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 

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