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

17 March 2023

Lynda Sebbage

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 March

Here are the winning entries for the previous competition: 


Always a showman, the Archdeacon made a dramatic exit after his visitation (Sue Chick)


WE ARE reassured to find that our readers are so eschatologically minded — although a dose or two of N. T. Wright is recommended as a corrective to the Left Behind series of books: “The members of the 2023 Rapturist Group wondered if they’d been left behind” (Chris Coupe); “Sisters Charity, Chastity, and Patience on a monument stand, ready for the Rapture” (John Saxbee); “Two more Rapture ever-hopefuls. We may need another couple of plinths” (Jayne Lee); “Hand on heart, hold your tummy, we’re joining the Rapture” (Paulette Yallop); Molly and Polly stood in the prescribed position, awaiting the Rapture, though Polly secretly felt it was more like supporting a rupture” (Geoffrey Robinson); They hoped the Rapture would happen before they, too, froze to death” (Valerie Budd).


Talking of literalism, we were not aware that flying bishops could actually, er, fly:

“I think he’s a flying bishop” (Patrick Irwin); “Here comes the next lot of flying bishops” (Clive Deverell); Churchwardens pictured waiting for the arrival of their flying bishop” (George Rigden).

There are, it seems, bishops who fly, even if they are not flying bishops as such: “The Bishop was due to land here in his helicopter shortly” (Richard Hough).

Dance routine? “So what’s the next bit of the Macarena?” (Margaret Adams); “Early Macarena dance routines televised by drone camera” (Mike Sharman); “It was a blissful visit to the garden and statue that inspired the Macarena” (Fiona Drinkell); “Following confession, the penance was five Hail Marys and five Hey Macarenas” (James Betteridge); “ . . . then your left arm out. You do the hokey cokey and you turn around. . . ” (Alison Woods).

Spotting flying objects requires a team effort: “Two parishioners search for the miscreant pigeon after his successful double dive-bombing” (Rob Falconer); “The pigeon-deterrent volunteers were having some success . . . until they were spotted” (Joan Workman); “Seventy-three magpies, put hand on heart” (William Clocksin); Must be one of those Chinese balloons” (Colin Fielding); “Whatever he saw, the shock turned him to stone! Er, shall we leave now?” (Sue Reed); “Even the statue was impressed at the approach of the mothership” (Stephen Disley).

Some other entries for your amusement: “Always were the bane of the religious life, these fleas” (Martin Kettle); “The Ascension Day re-enactment was going without a hitch” (Philip Deane); It had become habit-forming” (Michael Doe); “Pledging loyalty to the Constitution predated 1776 by several centuries” (John Appleby); “Why were the words of the hymn so far away?” (Bryan Stevenson); “In the final three of this year’s ‘musical statues’ competition, there is one unbeatable contender” (Philip Lickley);Are you sure that nice helicopter pilot at the Palace garden party offered to pick up the founder’s statue and lower it on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square?” (Ray Morris); “The sisters held their own variation of Red Nose Day, even though the statue wouldn’t join in” (Michael Foster); “This year’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest” (Peter Sebbage); “Did anyone warn them not to stand in the quick-drying cement?” (Lynda Sebbage).

Time for a quick prayer before the morning wildwater swim. Standing by the statue reminded them some days were just too cold” (Vicky Deasley); Practising to swear allegiance to King Charles III, or has Larry the Downing Street cat got himself stuck in a tree again?” (Lesley Cope); “Emulation personified” (Richard Strudwick); In the game of Statues, it was obvious who would win” (Avril Forrest); They seemed unaware of any danger, as they tried to spot what Lot’s wife had actually seen” (Alison Rollin); “There was no danger of First Order Franciscans turning to stone” (Felicity Couch); “We’ve got to do this right or bust!” (Helga Brandt); “The vicar’s abseiling antics attracted an audience of ‘all ages’” (Mark Parry); Strike a pose — Vogue! (Pearl Davison).

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


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