READERS enjoyed our last photograph, which showed Canon Jim Rosenthal officiating at a pet-blessing service.
Various guesses about the contents of the basket: “Fr Pusey enjoyed preaching on the Cats of the Apostles” (Richard Barnes); “I think she’s frightened of your dog collar, Father” (Patrick Irwin); “My dad thinks your sermons are a dog’s breakfast — so I’ve brought you a dog” (John Saxbee); and “Just what sort of spider is it?” and “Don’t worry, Father: I carry the antidote for snake bites with me” (both Chris Coupe).
Maybe the animal is no longer in the basket: “One of the small furry animals seemed to have escaped and be crawling over the vicar’s top lip” (Alexander Faludy); “‘Well, I can’t see any cat.’ ‘It’s on your head, Father’” (Peter Richbell); and “With one bound the black cat was free and disguised as a biretta” (Richard Barnes).
In the holy-mysteries section: “Oh, I see: this is the new way for doing the ablutions’’ (Peter Walker); “It was certainly a novel use for the offertory box” (Richard Hough); “It was taking Fr Postlethwaite time to get used to the new ciborium” (Richard Thornburgh); and “This automatic lavabo will never catch on” (Valerie Budd).
Tales of unexpected: “Ow! You said it was trained to kiss ecclesiastical rings!” (Corin Child); “Oh, she likes you: that’s a friendly nip” (Valerie Budd); “Could someone please tell him he is blessing a Hoover?” (Vicky Lundberg).
Ascribing quite unworthy sentiments to an innocent cleric: “As he was laying on hands and blessing it, he wondered if he could surreptitiously remove a few tufts of fur, to make a new pompom for his hat” (Alison Rollin); “Lovely. Please grill it for me” (Brian Simmons); “Very kind of you, Mrs Jones; but as it’s Friday, I should be having fish” (Katie Foot).
There was a strong batch of runners-up: “I’m not sure those are allowed in the country” (Chris Coupe); “At last the parishioners had a plan to get Father treated: a gin and tonic has been placed in the basket to entice him in” (Alex Summers); “As handwarmers went, it was a little cumbersome, but it did the trick” (Russ Bravo); “Fr Schroedinger was sure the cat was alive — or was it dead?” (Stephen Disley); and “The rep was very persuasive, but he was still unsure about solar- powered hand-dryers” (Richard Martin).
There were two winners, each of whom will receive Fairtrade chocolate from our sponsors Divine (divinechocolate.com).