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Caption competition

24 November 2017


She was determined to maintain a Broadsheet Church Richard Barnes I’d always wanted to get into the newspaper Janet Stockton

She was determined to maintain a Broadsheet Church Richard Barnes I’d always wanted to get into the newspaper Janet Stockton

OUR thanks to the Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, for allowing us to use her picture for this week’s caption competi­tion. Given her previous incarnation as a diocesan communications officer, she is used to dealing with newspapers.

Scriptural references to weapons and armour came readily to some readers’ minds: “The Church Mil­it­ant believes the pen is might­ier than the sword” (Bridget Swan); “But would the whole armour of God pass a fire in­­spection?” (Edward Mynors); “The whole armour of God was looking a little battle-worn” (Tom Page); “The paper is mightier than the sword?” (Martin Hood).

There was disagreement about which particular rag the Bishop was sporting: ”The new advert for the Mail on Sunday (Richard Hough); “Oh Lord! It’s another Mirror crusade!” (Diana Jones); “She readily embraced the role of Guardian: but perhaps needed to look in the Mirror(Richard Martin); “At least it’s not the Church Times!” (Patrick Irwin); “In no circumstances should The Independent be worn due to con­­fusions with the FIEC” (Andrew Greenhough).

One reader detected a profes­sional PR-strategy: “Combative Christian achieves widespread newspaper coverage!” (David Hanford).

No, no, it’s about evangelism: “The Good News is bursting to get out” (Robert Shooter); “Has she got news for you!” (John Saxbee).

There was a suspicion that some­one had lost control of the youth group: “At least the youth group didn’t use a red-top newspaper” (Chris Coupe); “The youth club’s design for new vestments was original, if not very sensible” (Patrick Irwin); “She hoped they realised that the flaming darts were an allegory” (Valerie Budd).

Others pinned the blame on the post-Brexit era of austerity (per­haps Wednesday’s Budget was on their minds): “The new Bishop was keen to make savings as an example of fiscal responsibility” (Tom Page); “The Readers had asked for an inexpensive option for their new uniform — and this one seemed particularly ap­­pro­priate” (Michael Foster); “Van­poulles’ austerity Episcopal range went down like a lead balloon” (Richard Strudwick); “Trad­­itional eucharistic vestments were unobtainable after Brexit” (Patrick Irwin).

Some other entries that we enjoyed: “The Bishop wasn’t sure if it was Messy Church or the Crusades re-enactment; so she played safe” (Susan Chick); “Yesterday’s news is today’s Messy Church” (Che R. Sea­bourne); “So much for the paper­­less church” (Chris Coupe); “The Bishop felt that ‘dress-down Sunday’ wasn’t really her forte” (Peter Chapman); “If you must go over to Rome, at least don’t do it by halves” (Ray Morris); “The PCC voted ten to one in favour of paperless ‘hymns’” (Jane Sigrist); “Mea­sures to deal with the bats had be­­come something of a crusade” (Jo Saunders); “Amend­ing Canon 36 had unintended consequ­ences” (Richard Barnes); “The attempt to follow Karl Barth’s dictum about a Bible and a newspaper had not gone well” (Tom Brazier); “Lambeth an­­nounces new Bishop for pap­er­ing over the cracks” (Richard Barnes)

And it wouldn’t be a caption competition without some puns: “I’m on the side of the Prints of Peace” (David Hill); “I asked for wrapped attention” (Janet Stockton); “Lift high the cross­word. . .” (John Appleby); “I said ‘tabard’, not ‘tabloid’ (Tom Brazier).

A prize of Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine (divinechocolate.com), goes to the two winners.

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