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

28 September 2018


Have a go at our next caption competition: the PM leaving church on Sunday, a week before the start of the Conservative Party Conference.

Have a go at our next caption competition: the PM leaving church on Sunday, a week before the start of the Conservative Party Conference.

Have a go at our next caption competition (right) 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 21 September.

Here are this week’s winners:

As a conciliatory gesture, Amazon had sent blow-up models to all Church of England cathedrals (Patrick Irwin);

We bought the inflatable from Amazon. Nice price, too, once the shareholders’ discount had been applied (Andrew Greenhough)

winchester cathedralwinchester cathedral

THIS week’s caption competition fell, appropriately, during the same week as the National Cathedrals Conference took place in Manchester. One of the speakers, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, spoke of the “modern-day bouncy and accessible Church of England”, and praised cathedrals for being places “that you can slip into unseen and slip out of unseen”.

Winchester Cathedral had, perhaps, interpreted the Bishop’s message in the opposite way from that which he intended:

  • Cathedrals were beginning to respond to criticism that they were not bouncy enough (Richard Hough)
  • As the Archbishop almost said: ‘If you can’t have fun in a bouncy cathedral, you really really don’t know what fun is’ (Jonathan Haigh)
  • Controversial church-plant puts bounce into cathedral worship (Richard Barnes)
  • The Dean is trying to bounce us into life (Janet Stockton)
  • Lively worship — yes! Bouncy worship — no! (John Appleby)
  • Messy Church had turned into Bouncy Church (Sue Chick).

Remarks about hot air were irresistible for some:

  • Diverting the hot air from Chapter meetings to a start-up venture was a brilliant idea (Vicky Lundberg)
  • ‘Full of hot air, prone to wobbling, easily let down,’ Frank said to his companion; ‘so I’m going on the bouncy castle instead’ (Russ Bravo)
  • They couldn’t quite decide which one held the most hot air (Simon Lloyd).

Perhaps it was a Fresh Expression (we are supposed to live in a mixed-economy Church, after all):

  • First Messy Church, now Winchester Wobbly Church (Bryan Gadd)
  • At least the new Messy Church was easy to wipe clean (Paul Lishman)
  • There was much excitement about the new fresh expression of cathedral, but, in the end, it was something of a let-down (Paul Bradbury).

Or it could have been another church-plant: 

  • It was painfully clear that the Dean and Chapter had not grasped HTB’s understanding of a church-plant (Christopher Tookey)
  • Winchester Cathedral’s attempt at church-planting proved to be a little wobbly (Michael Foster).

Pop-up shops and restaurants are all the rage; so how could the Church not get on board?

  • A concerned onlooker wondered whether Winchester’s ‘Pop-Up Church’ was just a load of hot air (Che R. Seabourne)
  • The pop-up daughter-church proved to have shaky foundations, and seemed destined to end up as a bit of a let-down, if not a total flop (Alison Rollin)
  • The new pop-up shrine to St Swithun proved as popular as its medieval predecessor (Edward Mynors)
  • Churches popping up everywhere (Sue Kelsey).

We knew that some cathedrals were in financial trouble:

  • It was an allegory for how inflation had made cathedrals’ finances shaky (N. J. Inkley)
  • As cathedral finances run dry, Winchester trials a cheaper cathedral building (Adam Ransom).

After the alleged Russian poisoners enjoyed their trip to Salisbury so much, it appears that other cathedrals are on guard:

  • They’ll have to clear the forecourt soon; there are three coachloads of Russians coming to admire the spires (Ray Morris)
  • The Government has ordered the deployment of dummy cathedrals to confuse future Russian tourists (Peter Chapman).

Some other entries that we enjoyed:

  • And, if you attract enough tourists, you will grow up big and strong like me (Stephen Disley)
  • The DAC had asked to be shown what the proposed new building might look like (Derek Hollis)
  • The chair of the DAC was determined to see if a faculty had been granted for this new structure (Chris Coupe)
  • With numbers falling, they’re clearly planning to downsize (Brian Hebblethwaite)
  • The vergers couldn’t cope with the growing numbers; so the Dean had ordered a bouncer (Michael Doe)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me to bounce back to a steadier life (Ben Woods);
  • Winchester anticipates the downward trend in church attendance (Richard Strudwick)
  • You need to take off your shoes before you enter this one, mate (Ian Barge).

As always, the winner receives a prize of Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine: divinechocolate.com.

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