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Have a go at the Church Times caption competition, and read the previous winner and top entries

21 December 2018


Have a go at our next caption competition (above) and win a prize of Fairtrade chocolate!

Email your entries to: captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk

or send by post (postcards only) to:

Caption Competition
Church Times
108-114 Golden Lane

London EC1Y 0TG

Entries must be received by Friday 28 December.


diocese of norwichdiocese of norwichHere is this week’s winner:

I’m sorry, ma’am, but that would be an indulgence, and you know that the C of E doesn’t believe in them 

(John Hutchinson)





“A BIT of an open goal, this one,” one contributor said regarding this week’s entry. Another was not entirely sure of the identity of the cleric taking orders (perhaps given his reluctance to don a purple shirt).

But on to the entries. The puns first:

  • It’s some time since he first took holy orders (John Saxbee)
  • Holy orders (Mervyn Cox)
  • Take holy orders? Never again (Martin Kettle)
  • The Clerk of Holy Orders excelled in his new role (Chris Parry)
  • ‘And you’d like the cod that passeth all understanding?’ ‘No, I’d rather go for the rock sole’ (Janet Roper)
  • Waiter moment, Archbishop, you’re Justin time to take our order (John Radford)
  • We’ve got some specials on the menu — just in (Rachel Phillips)
  • You are ‘just in’ time: that ‘welby’ God and chips for four (Paulette Yallop)
  • Just in time for tea! (Alison Parry)
  • The lunch party were delighted to have arrived ‘just in’ time to have their orders taken by the Archbishop (Lesley Cope)
  • They liked the waiter but found him a bit arch (Cortland Fransella).


References to loaves and fishes (and wine, of course) are no less amusing for being a tad predictable:

  • Sorry, we’ve just run out of the loaves and fishes (John Eady)
  • Three loaves, one fish, thank you. And would you like your wine from the first or the last serving? (Christopher Wain)
  • Now, let me see, was that five loaves and two fish? (Penny Potter)
  • So, that’s two fish, five bread, and you’re going to bless it, break it, and share it. And all of you want milk and honey to drink (Clive Deverell)
  • The menu today is a set one: five loaves and two fishes, with salad or fries (Bill Petts).


It appears that the Archbishop had not been trained for this at Cranmer Hall:

  • Was that four ham sandwiches or four hymn sandwiches? And would you like your water turned into wine? (Michael Foster)
  • So, that’s one quiche Lorraine, one chicken chasseur, two lobster thermidors, and a bottle of Blackburn Cathedral gin (Geoffrey Robinson)
  • The service was rather slow, but at least there was no sermon (Valerie Budd)
  • So, that’s one Tea Deum, one Magnificat Mocha, one Cantate Cappuccino, and a Jubi latte (Peter Bacon)
  • I know it says ‘Wild Boar Stew’ but I can assure you it’s very wild sow (Robert Shooter)
  • So, that’s one Curate’s Egg, one Stinking Bishop sandwich, and . . . more tea, Vicar? (Catherine Copp).


It’s pleasing to know there are some Julie Walters fans among our readers:

  • So, that’s one soup . . . and . . . another soup (Philip Baxter)
  • So, that’s one soup and another soup (Kim Topham)
  • The ‘two soups’ routine was wearing a bit thin (Andrew Greenhough).


Or perhaps they were ordering dessert:

  • Eton Mess, anyone? (John Saxbee)
  • Special pudding offer, folks: Eton Mess followed by May Brulée (Ian Barge)
  • And for pudding I can of course offer Eton Mess (Dan Cocker)
  • A dessert father (Wendy Walker).


There might have been loftier items on the menu than mere food, of course:

  • . . . and a curate, please (Valerie Budd)
  • Now, who do you want as the next Bishop of Norwich? (Patrick Irwin)
  • So, who would you like as your next Bishop? (Roger Knight).


Some other entries that we enjoyed:

  • Have you said grace, Your Grace? (David Nash)
  • Will you say grace, Your Grace? (Richard Strudwick)
  • Can we dispense with grace, Your Grace? (Michael Watts)
  • The Archbishop didn’t really relish taking orders (E. M. Owens)
  • The younger members of the congregation were asked to wait at table (John Appleby)
  • And four double G & Ts, please (Alison Rollin)
  • Cutbacks at the C of E force Archbishop into the gig economy (Richard Barnes)
  • This may be Alpha, but I’m the nearest you’ll get to Nicky Gumbel (Chris Coupe)
  • Sorry, Madam, we no longer do BLT. Would you like HTB? (Richard Martin)
  • So, that’ll be one Liberal Lemonade, an Anglo-Catholic Cola, a Broad-Church Bovril, and an Evangelical Espresso? ‘Yes, that’s right Archbishop. But could you mix them all together into one big pot, please?’ (Che R. Seabourne)
  • ‘Give them the faculty for a proper kitchen,’ wrote Justin as note to self (Vicky Lundberg)
  • It’s not just me, I’ve got the Church Commissioners working in the kitchen (Richard Hough).


As ever, the winner receives some Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine Chocolate: www.divinechocolate.com.

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