SHOW Church Times readers a photo with water in it, and baptism immediately comes to mind: “The tourists were amused by the baptism service of the local Unorthodox church” (Mervyn Cox); “Fortunately, unwillingness to submit to total immersion was not considered an impediment to valid baptism” (Christopher Tookey); and “After worries about declining numbers, the Bishop decided to advocate surprise baptisms of unsuspecting passers-by” (David Sims).
It’s good to get the puns out of the way early: “Around the world, Easter is often celebrated in ways which we find rather bizarre, but what is depicted here is beyond the pail” (Tom Corfield); and “Water into whine” (Robert Shooter).
More general entries: “Brother Nathan was over-enthusiastic with the Asperges” (Richard Barnes); “They promised to splash out on their sister’s big day” (John Saxbee); “A more direct approach was taken to get people to join the tea-and-coffee rota” (Chris Coupe); “The observer from the UN Committee on the Status of Women had it all on camera” (Valerie Budd); and “There weren’t any actual volunteers, so. . .” (Bridget Swan).
Back to baptism: “The Vicar only had time to fit in either a baptism or a wedding; so they decided to combine the two” (John Hutchinson); “Susan was adamant that she didn’t want her baptism to be by immersion, but the worship team outwitted her” (Valerie Budd); and “With limited village facilities, this was the best they could manage for a full-immersion baptism” (Michael Foster).
Sometimes we wonder about the thought-associations our readers make: “Going into a trance, the subject began to exude ectoplasm” (Peter Walker); and “It’s the closest you’ll get to a wet-T-shirt competition in this neck of the woods” (Richard Barnes).
We also had: “And men wonder why they have lost the vote, thought the girls of the late 21st century” (Vicky Lundberg); “Elena had cheated in the Easter-egg hunt” (Brian Stevenson); “Maria thought she had received enough holy water to last her a lifetime” (Richard Hough); and “The new Lutheran rite for the Churching of Women was proving very popular — with the men” (Geoffrey Robinson).
Away from the baptism theme, we had: “Mary shed joyous floods of tears when she was told that her offshore account dividend could help repair the thatch on the church” (Nicholas Varnon); “The Have-a-go-at-the-churchwarden stall always did well at the annual church fete” (Edward Mynors); and “Hildegard’s bad-hair day didn’t get any worse” (Peter Sebbage).
Among our favourites: “It may have been Heidi’s 39th unsought rendition of numbers from The Sound of Music that caused the villagers finally to crack” (Margaret Wallis); “I hate portable fonts” (David Hill); and “Drastic measures had to be adopted to quell the outbreak of folk dancing” (Stephen Disley).
One winner this week, who will receive a supply of Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine (www.divinechocolate.com).