ASCENSION DAY was, not surprisingly, on the minds of some of the contributors to the latest Church Times caption competition: “Ah, the joy of the Ascension” (Richard Martin); “The Cathedral’s Experimental Liturgy for Ascension Day had got off to an exciting start” (Patrick Irwin).
Others could not resist the thought that it symbolised the current predicament of the C of E: “The decline of the Church of England was bottoming out” (Richard Barnes);
“Do you ever get the feeling that the Church just goes round in circles?” (Maree Foster); “Did I mention that REACH South Africa are coming to consecrate some of our new curates this Petertide?” (Andrew Greenhough); “I wonder when the Synod will release us?” (Eric Lishman); “Test pilots for the new flying bishops training apparatus describe the prototype as ‘a bit rudimentary’” (Jonathan Williamson).
These somewhat mischievous entries were also received: “And if the Commissioners get their way, it won’t be the last time a bishop takes a dean for a ride” (Charles Taylor); “The Bishop decided to try a new interview technique with the candidate for the Archdeacon’s post” (Chris Coupe); ”They were beginning to regret their assertion at a recent staff meeting that they wouldn’t be taken for a ride” (Michael Foster); “Suddenly they realised that they had left the comms team in charge on the ground” (Julia Hill).
No harm in a spot of inter-diocesan rivalry, either: “We should be able to see what Worcester are getting up to when we get to the top” (Richard Hough).
Ecclesiastical politics aside, some just felt queasy: “Don’t worry, Michael, my chauffeur has some sick bags” (Paul Smith); “Sorry about this, Bishop. It must be that recycled alfalfa cereal I had for breakfast” (Ian Barge); “I had prunes and beans this morning. Do you think it’ll matter?” (Alison Rollin); Dean Mick and Bishop Dick feeling sick (John Saxbee).
And, as always, some puns: “Bishop Ferris was having a wheelie good time” (Tom Page); “All shall be wheel, and all manner of thing shall be wheel” (Richard Barnes).
Other entertaining entries: “Now you know what candidates feel like in a General Election” (Patrick Irwin); ”Brother, are you ready for this? You know what it says: ‘You will be caught up to meet Him in the air’” (John Hutchinson); “Sometimes extreme measures have to be employed to ensure you’re not overheard” (Chris Coupe); “You think this is scary? You should try the Talent Pool Flume” (Richard Barnes); ”My goodness, Dean: the quinquennial report was right. Did you realise the cathedral roof was
in such a bad state?” (Sue Chick).
Also: “Loved your ordination charge on ‘the ups and downs of ministry’. Can’t think what gave you the idea” (Ray Morris); “I’m sure our trendy architect was on strong medication when he designed this awful vestry extension, Mr Dean” (Eric Lishman); “The remake of All Gas and Gaiters set in Blackpool looks promising” (Vicky Lundberg); ”The Psalmist is right again, Mr Dean: the lot is fallen to me in a fair ground” (John Saxbee); “I believe you’re right, Canon Smith. This form of evangelism does seem to urge people to prayer” (Tom Page).
Many thanks, once again, to Divine for supporting this competition with a prize of Fairtrade chocolate (divinechocolate.com).