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

17 June 2022

Robin Ward

Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 27 June

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition: 

Adam Parker-Randall Adam Parker-Randall 

When he was asked to take a bow before the Queen, it nearly led to separation of Church and State (Mary Hawkins)


THE caption competition is back after a break, and we are pleased to see evidence that Anglicans’ love of a long-running Radio 4 drama continues:

“The Bishop had thought he had been invited to appear on The Archers (Patrick Irwin); “Not as entertaining as the Radio 4 version” (Sheila Rosenthal); “Now this was far more exciting than just listening to The Archers on the radio” (Rob Falconer); “7 p.m. The Archers: local Bishop has the Bull in his sights” (John Saxbee); “Not to be outdone by Prince Charles on EastEnders, the Bishop joined The Archers (Michael Doe); and “This isn’t exactly what I meant when I said I wanted to make a guest appearance on The Archers (Luke Sanderson).


Bishops are known to like targets these days, but we weren’t aware they were being taken quite so literally:

“The Bishop had been told in his yearly review that he should aim to reach as many targets as possible” (Sue Chick); “The Bishop was a ‘dab hand’ at ‘pulling strings’ in order to hit his targets” (Mark Parry); “The Bishop’s micro-sermon was — you won’t hit the target unless you let go!” (Peter Sebbage); “I’m more used to targets like 10,000 churches” (Martin Kettle); “Strategic Development Funding is conditional on hitting very specific targets” (John Appleby); and “I simply asked them to set realistic targets” (Janet Stockton).


The Jubilee celebrations might have occasioned the revival of a certain hymn that arouses patriotic fervour:

“I thought ‘Jerusalem’ was a rousing hymn for a civic service. I didn’t want someone literally to bring me a bow and arrow!” (Valerie Budd); “Bring me my bow of burning gold, bring me my arrows of desire,” sang the Bishop as he practised for the Kevin Costner sequel, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves 2 (Richard Spray); “Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! and I shall win that cuddly toy” (Aaron Milne); and “He had his bow of burning gold and his arrows of desire, but what he really wanted was a giant teddy” (Philip Lickley).


Mindful of the parlous state of the nation and Church, arrow prayers are being fired off with particular urgency, it seems:

“How to send an arrow prayer” (Michael Gill); “The Bishop’s arrow prayer gets a helping hand from above” (Douglas Scarisbrick); “The Bishop said an ‘Arrow Prayer’ as he took aim, and it looks like the Mayor should have done just the same” (Lesley Cope); “Has no one told the Bishop that arrow prayers need an upward trajectory?” (Don Manley).


Some other entries that we enjoyed:

“It’s always wise to stay on the right side of the Bishop” (Lynda Sebbage); “I don’t know about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; I must get the better of the Mayor” (Julian Ashton); “The Bishop tried to resist the temptation to aim at the Archdeacon rather than the apple” (Bridget Swan) “Civic leaders misunderstood when they were told they would be getting a visit from the Arch Bishop” (Pearl Davison); “‘The meaning of the word “sin” in Greek is missing the mark,’ thought the Bishop. ‘I’d better hit the bullseye’” (Lorna Brook); “Say, that target looks awfully like the ‘Save the Parish’ logo. . .” (Che Seabourne); “Bishop finds a new way of making his point at General Synod” (Nick Baker); “‘We asked the Bishop to open the competition because he is a well-known toxophilite.’ ‘Are you sure? I always thought he was an Anglican’” (Ray Morris); “The Church resorts to medieval methods to boost funds” (Ken Wilkinson); “The new curate started to feel a little nervous as he slowly put the apple on his head” (Sandra Leaton Gray); “They were getting rather too enthusiastic at the re-enactment of the martyrdom of St Sebastian” (Stephen Disley); “I promise you, this is nothing to do with redistribution of wealth — OK, it might be. Archdeacon, pass me an arrow!” (Clive Deverell); “Both the Mayor and the Bishop were intent on stopping the hostile takeover of NatWest Bank” (David John); and “The Bishop thought he mitre’s well join the Agincourt re-enactment” (Philip Deane).


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


Sun 03 Jul @ 23:00
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