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

14 April 2023


Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 24 April

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:  

Diocese of NewcastleDiocese of Newcastle

Deep purple, velvet underground (Martin Kettle)

STEERING this particular train (or is it a TARDIS?) might not be as straightforward as hoped:

“Bishops move only diagonally; so there were problems ahead” (Sue Chick); “Sitting at the controls, Bishop Helen-Ann couldn’t resist asking if the train could move diagonally” (Hazel Rea); “Do I go forwards or backwards if I pull this lever?” (Richard Spray); “She had always believed that the TARDIS might be a tad more difficult to manoeuvre” (Fiona Drinkell).

Gaining experience of other professions is no bad thing:

“Now look who they’re calling in to work during the train strikes!” (Mark Richardson) “Train-a-Priest was our appeal in Lent — now let’s train a bishop!” (John Saxbee); “It is somewhat unusual for senior clergy to contemplate such a drastic change of career” (Michael Foster); “When rail strikes prevented her movement around the diocese, the Bishop took practical theology to a whole new level” (James Betteridge-Sorby).

Who knew that trains were in the Bible?

“Like the Queen of Sheba, the new Bishop of Newcastle ‘arrived with a very great train’” (1 Kings 10.2, AV) (Charles Taylor); “I am the Queen of Sheba and I have a very great train” (1 Kings 10.2) (Bill Bishop); “And the train filled the temple. . . Oops, I should have braked earlier!” (Andrew Carr).

Some other entries that we enjoyed:

“As befitted her station, the Bishop was in the driving seat” (John Radford); “The train has been cancelled due to palm leaves on the line” (Philip Lickley); “The service had finished; so she was able to announce ‘Doors to manual’” (Richard Hough); “The Bishop would use any means to reach the cathedral on time” (Patrick Irwin); “The Sky Pilot is thoroughly enjoying her busman’s holiday” (Catherine Thorp); “Next stop, the Kingdom of God” (Heather Baillie); “A return will cost you about the same as the prodigal son’s” (David Woods); “At last, a bishop has found a way to get clergy where she wants them” (Chris Coupe); “I wish there was simulator training for potential bishops” (Valerie Budd); “In order to make up the shortfall in the parish share, the vicar was doing a couple of nightshifts each week at the local industrial estate, and had developed some expertise with the heavy lifting machinery” (Paul MacDermott); “Bishop Noah trains to save us from climate-crisis flooding” (Paul Brett); “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, lead me all my journey through” (Eunice Owens); “Left hand down a little” (Richard Strudwick); “I’ve discovered what goes on under the surface of the diocese” (Janet Stockton); “The Bishop got her tracts and tracks a little confused” (Bob King); “Bishop boldly goes where no bishop has gone before” (Nick Baker); “When the bride said she’d have an extremely long train, the Bishop didn’t realise they’d have to drive it down the aisle” (Pearl Davison); “‘The Dekons are attacking!’, said Captain of the Kirk” (Start Rektor, episode 2023) (John Appleby); “The reordering of Newcastle Cathedral went a tad further than the DAC were originally expecting” (Sam Wilson); “Since the arrival of modern technology in the church, setting up the overhead projector had got a little more complicated” (Jeannie Chamberlain); “The new diocesan began her ministry in the driving seat, with clear vision, fully in control, ensuring a safe journey for all those in her care” (Paul Crabb); “The Bishop demonstrated the C of E’s latest Train the Trainer programme (from the diocesan control room)” (Nick Ralph); “The church ‘training’ its congregation to go on the right ‘track’” (Eric Jones); “Episcopal oversight in the 21st century” (Chas Coleman); “Although she appreciated the support of LNER, the Bishop did feel that having to use ‘Azuma’ rather than ‘Alleluia’ was taking brand recognition a step too far” (Peter Chapman); “I’ve always wanted to lay hands on one of these” (Jackie Brown).

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


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