Have a go at our next caption competition (above). Send entries by email only to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 a.m., Monday 27 February
Here are the winning entries for the previous competition:
Diocese of Oxford
A rare sighting of endangered see horses (Charles Taylor)
With only three knights and a bishop, the life-size chess game was off to a slow start (Philip Lickley)
PRESSURE is growing for getting around the diocese in a more environmentally friendly way — but perhaps electric cars are not for every bishop:
“This is much greener than my episcopal car” (Janet Stockton); “This is not what I had in mind as eco-friendly transport” (Chris Coupe); “The Bishop parked his new eco-friendly transport during a visit to his large, mainly rural, diocese” (Mervyn Cox); “New environmentally friendly park-and-ride scheme launched today” (Mike Sharman).
The jury is out on whether this is a speedier form of travel:
“When I requested some transport with more horsepower, I didn’t envisage this” (Paul Bennett); “Having struggled with his previous vehicle, the Bishop now had three times the horspower for getting around the diocese” (James Bettetidge-Sorby); “I’ve broken down! Can you give me a lift?” (Lynda Sebbage).
Dealing with negative reactions in the diocese is near the top of the list of required episcopal skills:
“The Bishop is quite ready to deal with any neigh-sayers” (Richard Hough); “The Bishop was always trying to convert the neigh-sayers” (Graeme Denman); “Bishop urges neigh-sayers to be more positive” (Michael Doe).
At times of financial struggle, unorthodox means might be employed to raise funds:
“Thank you, thank you! Our wager of last Sunday’s collection on your long odds means we can now afford a new organ” (Robin Morgan); “Love the racing colours, and give you my blessing as half my parishioners have backed you in the 2.30 this afternoon” (Janet Bennett); “Sorry, Bishop, these are horses for courses, but the whisperer says the odds are even stevens!” (Paulette Yallop).
Some other entries for readers’ amusement:
“Equal marriage? The neighs have it, the neighs have it” (John Saxbee); “You can laugh, but when the fourth horse comes it’ll be the Apocalypse” (Gavin Smithers); “They told us these positions did not include knight shifts” (Ken Wilkinson); “The Bishop had brought a striking visual aid for his sermon on Ephesians 6” (Patrick Irwin); “But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Neigh, neigh” (Valerie Ganne); “Sir Quentin and Sir Rod, I see you are living the dream, being knights!” (Julian Ashton); “I am auditioning for The Vicar of Dibley, not Only Fools and Horses!” (Alison Parry); “Sorry you lost your crop — why not borrow my staff?” (Mark Parry); “Cheer up, horse — even bishops dress in funny clothes sometimes” (Christopher Etherton); “By hoof or by crook!” (Helga Brandt); “I actually referenced Thomas AQUINas in my sermon” (Alison Woods); “I see your companion is wearing the latest fashion for gallopers: a striped vest and with buttons!” (Eunice Owens); “For a moment,” said the bishop, “I thought you were taking me for a ride!” (Bill de Quick); “Visiting parking ‘bays’ or gathering strays?” (Paul Lodge); “He’s a retired racehorse called Usual Fudge out of Bishops’ Meeting and Keep the Peace” (Ray Morris) “Although rumours of the Church Times and Racing Post merger had been quashed, some supporters didn’t get the memo” (Paul Bennett); “There was some discussion over who had forgotten to bring the eponymous implement to the Plough Sunday service” (Michael Foster); “No, no — I said ‘bring seeds’, not steeds, for the diocesan rewilding project” (Maree Foster); “The Bishop hoped that the service would not fall at the first fence” (Brian Stevenson); “Long faces greet Bishop’s blessing of car park. This used to be our stables” (Paul Vincent); “The Anglican answer to the popemobile made good horse-sense” (Richard Strudwick); “Nice to meet you, St Ledger” (Stephen Low); “There’s ‘neigh’ way they are fitting in the church” (Craig Lutas); “So you think this is a two-horse race, Bishop? Bring on the cavalry” (Stephen Davies); “The apocalypse comes to Oxford!” (Susan Chick); “Why the long face? General Synod next week. . .” (John Stather); “The Apocalypse Equestrian Team desperately needed their fourth member to arrive so they could discuss plans to overcome the opposition” (Brenda Barwick); “Go on, mate, eat the sermon notes, then we all get to go home quicker” (Martin Kettle); “Going hell for leather took on a new perspective” (Robert Shooter)
As ever, the winner receives a prize of Fairtrade chocolate, courtesy of Divine Chocolate.