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

15 October 2021

Julian Sharpe

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

Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 25 October.

Here is the winning entry for last week: 


He’d spotted one pearl of great price: now for the haggling (Alison Rollin)

THIS week’s picture of the Pearlies assembling before the Costermonger’s Harvest Service at St Mary-Le-Bow, in the City of London, was a gift for pun enthusiasts:

  • Pearlies before swine! (Bridget Swann)
  • I said that one day I hope to see the pearly gates, not your Pearly mates. . . (Mark Hutchinson)
  • Some ‘pearls of wisdom’ for the kings and queens (Mark Parry)
  • As communion was about to start, it was definitely a case of pearls before wine (Philip Lickley)
  • On this occasion, Revd Richard’s pearls of wisdom were somewhat superfluous (Michael Foster)
  • Isn’t this the pearly gates? (Ingrid North)
  • Pearl was something of a sew-’n’-sew, button this occasion she was blessed with a feather in her cap (Anne Parmenter)
  • I bless this down payment for the pearly gates (Paulette Yallop).


And for those with a penchant for cockney rhyming slang:

  • Can you Adam ’n’ Eve it? (Samantha McGinty)
  • Come take a ‘butcher’s hook’, dear ‘baked bean’, up the ‘apples and pears’ for my ‘rabbit and pork’ (Georgie Aronin)
  • Pie and liquor says a weaver’s chair but do they Adam and Eve it? (John Saxbee).


Some readers detected a misunderstanding between the incumbent and the Pearlies:

  • What do you mean you won’t take pearls for the Harvest Festival? (Nigel Greaves)
  • But, Vicar, it’s not a cup full of abominations: it’s just a coffee and biscuit hamper as a charity donation from the association (Fiona Drinkell)
  • Look, I’m sorry, love. I was misquoted. I said I was sick and tired of all this Lambeth talk (Ian Barge)
  • Wrong address, madam. The pearly gates are up there (Madeline Charlton)
  • We wanted the pearly gates, but got directed to Purley Way around Croydon (Steve Davies).


Some other entries that amused us:

  • Sorry, I have already cut off as many as possible — any more and they will think I am a Lutheran (Robert M. Jaggs-Fowler)
  • The Church of England was very experienced in dealing with all manner of royalty (Patrick Irwin)
  • The Vicar felt a little overwhelmed by all the Pearly Kings and Queens, but then relaxed, knowing that he knew where to find the one pearl of great price (Lesley Cope)
  • Don’t tell me, it’s a cake made with chocolate buttons. No, they’re pearl-barley buttons (Bill de Quick)
  • Do I behold pearls of great price? ‘Lor, no, sir, we’ll open your church fête for a free go on the tombola’ (Ray Morris)
  • Well, I know the parable of the lost pearl of great price, but to find so many is absolutely overwhelming (Daphne Foster)
  • No more buttons for me, thank you. I’m trying to give them up (Sadie Godiva). 
  • I said are you a Pearly Queen, not a poorly queen (Rose Janes)
  • I said turn up early, not turn up pearly (Martin Kettle)
  • If the basket contained a Pearl of Great Price, the target of the building fund was met (Brian Stevenson)
  • A cluster of Pearlies in search of the pearl of greatest price (Kate Carter)
  • No, honestly, I thought I was going to preach at Purley (Neil Inkley)
  • All together now, ‘Knees up, Father Brown’ (Sheena Batey)
  • . . . and I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these (Richard Strudwick)
  • Even the offer of a tasty tea hamper couldn’t sway the Vicar to allow the Pearlies into church without their masks on (Lynda Sebbage)
  • The Pearly Kings and Queens were not amused by Barry choosing ‘Do not cast your pearls before swine’ as his text for the service (Vicky Deasley)
  • Alexa misheard the Vicar’s request for ‘Five early rings’ (Paul Groom).
  • One rather thought your harvest might have been more, shall we say, oyster-based (Rob Falconer)
  • Pearls before communion wine (Valerie Ganne)
  • The Vicar explained that news of Dick Van Dyke’s recent demise had been grossly exaggerated (Nick Baker)
  • They were not impressed when the Vicar told them that automatic entry via the pearly gates was by no means guaranteed, even for royalty (Paul MacDermott).


As ever, the winner receives a prize of Fair­trade chocolate, courtesy of Divine Chocolate. divinechocolate.com


Wed 29 Jun @ 06:43
"I believe that the arguments of this timely campaign might be strengthened by attention to some points of nuance"… https://t.co/K1KMpIJxjJ

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