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Caption competition

04 August 2017

The vergers had just heard what the BBC pay the choir for Choral Evensong John Saxbee

The vergers had just heard what the BBC pay the choir for Choral Evensong John Saxbee

PUNS are a staple feature of the Caption Competition, and our readers have this week plumbed new imaginative depths: “This is verging on the ridiculous!” (John Saxbee); “This is virging on the ridiculous” (Timothy Beecroft); “Vergers on the ridiculous” (Richard Barnes); I said ‘Mind the virge!’” (Stephen Venner).

Dr Saxbee, to be fair, did find a different angle for his second pun: “The cathedral’s new bouncy castle experience included some sole searching.”

Now that those are over with, here are some other entries, the first from a former cathedral verger: “Matching socks are an essential part of a verger’s uniform. One just never knows when they might be on show” (Bridget Swan); “The new verger lasted only a few hours before collapsing exhausted” (Richard Hough)

Some readers thought that church summer-holiday clubs might not be going to plan: When the Holiday Bible Club did not recruit as well as expected, the cathedral staff jumped at the chance to fill the spaces” (Vicky Lundberg); “All the parish children refused point blank to attend the Messy Yurt” (Eric Lishman).

J. K. Rowling would be proud of these entries: “Expelliarmus!” (Sue Chick); “‘Locomotor Wibbly!’ The Moderator was putting his Harry Potter knowledge of spells to seemingly good effect” (Daphne Foster).

For others, it brought to mind internal cathedral politics: “Where the vergers really go during the Bishop’s sermons” (George Frost); “A good use for the hot air of the Chapter meeting” (Vicky Lundberg); “No, that’s the Dean, and you verge her to . . . no, stop laughing” (Bridget Swan)

“Not everyone was happy with Midsomer Minster’s innovative approach to the Mystery Plays” (Ray Morris); “Mystery Play on bouncy castle. St Mark warns St Theresa of dangers of hyper-inflation” (Ian Barge); Murder on the Bouncy Castle was one of the lesser-known Agatha Christie adaptations” (Margaret Wallis).

We enjoyed these sartorial contributions: “Despite succeeding in matching his socks with his robes, the verger’s co-ordination skills did not extend to bouncing on castles (Mervyn Cox); Michael now understood why the uniform policy insisted on matching socks” (Peter Chapman).

Some suspected mischievous behaviour: “‘What on earth had Mrs Sidebottom put in the fairy cakes?’ wondered His Grace” (Eric Lishman); Was it the Bouncy Castle Blessing or had someone spiked the Pimms?” (Richard Barnes).

Other entries that we enjoyed: “Slain by the Spirit?” (Sue Chick); “Holding the exorcism training course on a bouncy castle was bound to lead to the Fall” (Michael Foster); “And did those feet!” (Daphne Foster); “They decided to follow their falling congregations and see where they were going” (Edward Mynors).

“No need to kiss my ring. We’re Low Church.” (Roger Knight); “‘Three little Vergers bouncing on a castle, one fell off and broke his metatarsal.’ Sadly, one Verger did fall off, but he soon bounced back.” (George Frost).

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