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

12 May 2023

Diocese of Blackburn

Have a go at our next caption competition (above). Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 22 May

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:   

Facebook/Archbishop of YorkFacebook/Archbishop of York

But, Archbishop, I thought you said our doctrine wasn’t set in stone? (Che Seabourne)

IT IS never too late to learn new skills, however high someone has risen in their chosen profession: “You’re a natural with that chisel” (Aaron Milne); “The York stonemasons look on, smiling anxiously as their longest-serving apprentice gets into contact with the stone for the first time” (Sue Chick); “York College were short of staff on the stonemasonry course, so called in the Bishop to help. It looked so easy, he thought” (Vicky Deasley); “I do like blue-collar work as well as white-collar” (Helga Brandt).

Don’t give up the day job just yet: “The interview for a trainee stonemason was going so well, and then the Archbishop slipped with the chisel” (Lynda Sebbage); “Quick, close your eyes — you’ve got no safety goggles on, and this is dangerous work!” (Jennifer Stokes); “I cannot look. He’s about to wreck this” (Jules Duggan); Like being Archbishop, this isn’t as easy as it looks” (Chris Coupe); “I think a stairway to heaven is a little too ambitious, Your Grace” (Catherine Thorp); “Archbishop, I don’t think you’re ready to carve a Venus de Milo just yet” (Peter Sebbage); “Not saying you’re slow, Your Grace, but I was beardless when you started” (Martin Kettle).

Rumours of archiepiscopal involvement in a form of masonry have alarmed some, however: “Oh dear — he’s gone and joined the Masons!” (Philip Deane); “Are you sure that you are allowed to practise masonry, Archbishop?” (Mervyn Cox); “Free masonry” (Chris Broadbent); “It was rumoured that the Bishop had only got his post because he was a mason” (Philip Belben).

Or perhaps the Archbishop is considering a side-hustle in the cheese industry: “The cheese had become unexpectedly hard during the Lenten fast” (Clare Wright); Should we tell the Bishop that it’s a cheese, and not a mallet?” (Paul Vincent); “I must say that I really can’t wait to get my teeth into a piece of this extra-mature Yorkshire cheddar cheese” (Christopher Miller); “How long did you say this cheese has been maturing for?” (Roger Chamberlain); “The Wensleydale cheese proved to be harder than the Archbishop had expected” (Michael Watts); “I know you said this Minster cheese was mature, but a chisel?” (Clive Deverell).

An opportunity for a future sermon illustration: “Like my sermons, hoping to reach ‘hearts of stone’ and chisel through the gospel message” (Eunice Owens); “The Archbishop was busy preparing his sermon on ‘Rock of Ages’” (Michael Foster).

Some other entries that we enjoyed: At last, the chance to hammer home the point. I wish my sermons made such a lasting impression” (Christine Strand); “Good masons are like good preachers, Your Grace, they know when to stop banging on” (Ray Morris); “The Archbishop of York finds a new use for the ‘stone rejected by the builders’” (John Radford); “If you want to draw blood from a stone, you should try speaking at the General Synod” (Patrick Irwin); “Sure, he’s not bad at it, but just imagine what the Primate of All England might do!” (John Saxbee); Archbishop inaugurates new charity to make up for loss of NHS dentists” (Michael Doe); “When the Archbishop was invited to the chippy on Friday, he’d expected something more edible” (Philip Lickley); A few minor adjustments had to be made to the Coronation Crown before the big day” (Kim Willing); I don’t suppose Cardinal Wolsey ever got this involved with the building works” (Richard Hough);Be careful with that corner, or we may have to reject the stone” (Paulette Yallop); “Aware of the fate of his early Christian namesake, Archbishop Stephen was very careful when visiting the stoneyard” (Charles Taylor); “Is this where all that missing York stone paving ended up?” (Valerie Budd); “And that is how Archbishop Justin’s bust got the cleft chin and plasticine nose” (Paul Gilmore); “I am working on the Eleventh Commandment. Any ideas? I’ve got as far as ‘Thou shalt not. . .’” (Elizabeth Hughes); “Crafting a symbol of faith and devotion, one chip at a time” (Azeem Moosun); “You’re right, mate, this Archbishop’s certainly a chip off the old block” (Richard Spray); “I’m just correcting the spelling of my name” (Stephen Dolby); “A chip off the old block sets to work on the cornerstone” (Richard Strudwick); “A small chip for humankind: an enormous one for Stephen” (Robert Shooter).

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


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