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Caption competition

24 June 2016

Jonny Scott

In the end, it proved to be a stairway to heaven that only Professor Chapman could see James Tabor Like Skegness, this place is so bracing! Richard Hough Suddenly, Mrs Cropley’s cake
kicked in Eric Lishman

In the end, it proved to be a stairway to heaven that only Professor Chapman could see James Tabor Like Skegness, this place is so bracing! Richard Ho...

IN THE midst of Euro 2016, it was surprising there were not more references to the tournament in our latest caption competition. We had a few entries on this theme, however: “Although he couldn’t be there in person, the chaplain to the English football team tried to be with them in spirit” (George Frost); and “Yet another typo in a Church House job description led to some head­scratching at the FA” (Chris Johnson).

Several entrants recognised the vice-principal of Cuddesdon, the Revd Professor Mark Chapman: “Cuddesdon has always been better known for its vices than for its principles(als)” (Paul Ro­berts); “Twenty-three years on the bench for Cuddesdon FC had not dimmed Chappers’ en­­thusiasm” (Chris Johnson);
and “Chapman’s Cheerleaders seemed unaware that their leader had already set off to Dance the Bounds” (Rona Stuart-Bourne). It also appears that some of Professor Chapman’s advice has been remembered: “You can process however you want, as long as your shoes are black” (Matthew Rushton).

But it is the fate of a caption-competition subject to be mis­identified: “The Revd J. Corbyn limbered up for the European Football Championships” (Alan Wright); “The churchwarden had a bit of a temper tantrum after losing the ‘Best Beret’ com­pe­tition” (Tom Page); “The French curé kicked the last onion into touch” (Alan Wright); and so on.

Spot the theme: “For their Euro 2016-themed fete, Fr Mark staged a live ‘Spot the Ball’ competition. Where will you put the cross?” (Rhona Floate); “Sandwiched between the Ap­­point­ments and the Obituaries, Spot the Ball quickly became the most popular feature in
the Church Times
(David Hill). In ascending order: “The Spot the Thurible competition was going to be a toughie this week” (Peter Richbell); “Mark with an X where you think the has­sock was in this picture” (John Appleby); “At the village fete, the Vicar was surprised that he was the only entrant in the ‘Kick the Arch­deacon’ competi­tion” (John Hutch­inson); and “Com­­pe­tition: please place an X where you think the Bishop is stand­­ing” (from Jeremy Fletcher).

The best of the hokey-cokey refer­ences was: ” “The Vicar wasn’t sure if he was ‘In’, ‘Out’, or ‘Shake it all about’” (John Rad­ford), and Shaun Clarkson re­­cog­­n­ised the diffi­culties of pub­lishing on the day of the refer­endum vote: “UK scores (a win­ner/massive own goal)* by voting for (Remain/Brexit)* in yester­day’s refer­endum.* please delete as ap­­propriate”.

Whatever else might Professor Chapman be doing? “Contrary to all expectation, liturg­ical dance was making a come-back” (Jen­nifer Brown); “He was so enjoying himself, he failed to notice that the liturgical-dance workshop had ended some time ago” (John Appleby); “The vol­unteers for the clergy can-can were noticeably few in number” (Chris Coupe); and “Norman knew he could have been a Tiller Girl” (Paul Taylor). And we were impressed by this reference to a renowned theologian: “Expres­sing 20th-century theo­logy in dance, the founder of the Tillich Girls ploughed a lonely furrow” (David Hill).

A few at random: “Another of the PCC’s ‘bright ideas’ suc­cessfully kicked into the long grass” (David Hill); “Michael had already taken off his jumper and was now trying to cart­wheel his way out of his jacket” (Sue Chick); “And I let the Bishop have it just like that!” (Bridget Swan); “Forty years a missionary to the whirling dervishes was bound to leave some after-effects” (Ray Morris); and ”“The parishioners were increasingly concerned with David’s John Cleese fixa­tion” (Vicky Lundberg).

We were especially fond of three entries by Eric Lishman, one of which made it on to the podium. There was also: “Sadly, the Cloak of Invisibility didn’t work when he booted the Bishop” and “Short of Tombola prizes, the chorister whipped his shooting stick.” We also liked: “New shoes always had that effect on Donald” (Margaret Wallis); “The bottle stall at the church fayre had a lot to answer for” (Vicky Lundberg); and “It was a bit childish to do a celebratory dance for making the best Victoria sponge, but the look on Mrs Wilmot’s face made it all worthwhile” (Bridget Swan).

Divine has kindly provided prizes for the winning entry (divinecho­colate.com). This week we could not choose between three, so all of them win.

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