OUR readers are good with signs, if not with wonders, and so there was a decent crop of entries for the last caption competition.
Several readers pointed to the everyday perils of worship: “Thanks for the warning. We heard it was a dangerous thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Tom Page); “Little St Pythag’s registered ‘Basilica’ on the Prinknash Incense scale” (Richard Barnes); “Hard hats must be worn as a precaution against unexpected unction from above” (Bob Torrens); “Danger of (eternal) life” (Valerie Budd); and “The PCC’s greatest achievement was saving casual visitors from the tone-deaf choir, tedious sermons, and endless prayers about world peace” (Eric Lishman).
We detected some attitude among our contributors: “Verger: ‘That should help kill off the BCP, Rector.’ Rector: ‘Splendid, Mr Thomas! But take it down before the 10 a.m. Praise Service’” (Ian Barge); “Following an incident at Messy Church. . .” (Michael Foster); and “Once a month, they used Mission Praise instead of Hymns Ancient & Modern (1924 edition)” (Edward Mynors).
Otherwise, there was a broad range of entries: “The Vicar still hadn’t mastered community outreach” (George Frost); “The monthly Paintball Evensong was surprisingly popular” (Richard Barnes); “The Broad Church in operation: cautious worship and a Chapel alternative” (Chris Coupe); and “Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! General Synod are saying their prayers” (John Radford).
Also: “Visitors hoped there would be some kindly light amidst the encircling gloom” (Richard Hough); “Welcome to the annual Health and Safety Officers’ Service” (Richard Barnes); “Apparently last week a bell-ringer almost attended a service” (John Saxbee); “All precautions had been taken before the Pentecost service” (Sue Chick); and “It was obvious that the youth group were holding their monthly service” (Michael Foster).
And yet more: “The Home Office was determined to warn everyone of the dangers of radicalisation through evensong” (Andrew Greenhough); “By Order. Signed: R. Dawkins” (John Hutchinson); and “Stand clear as congregation heads for refreshments” (Valerie Budd).
Among our favourites were: “It goes without saying that progress in worship should always be made with caution” (Richard Hough); “Because sudden prayers make God jump” (Eric Lishman); “Could have been reduced to ‘Careful: prayerful’” (Tom Page); and “Just change ‘Caution’ to ‘Caption’, and the sign will direct people to the special service to celebrate the most important feature of the Church Times” (Andrew Greenhough).
Two winners this week will each receive Fairtrade chocolate, generously supplied by Divine (divinechocolate.com).