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

18 August 2023

Jan McFarlane

Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 28 August

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:


Any old vestments, pews, church policies? Any old vestments, pews, church policies? Any old. . .(Paul Vincent)


THE net-zero deadline looms ever closer — and bishops are not exempt from radical measures:

“At the recent Synod, the Archbishop was keen to showcase the Church’s latest low-cost and low-carbon plan for travelling and mobile ministry” (Paul MacDermott); “The bishops took time out from the Synod to investigate new eco-friendly ways to get around their dioceses” (Mervyn Cox); “As new electric vehicles become harder to come by due to a shortage of parts, dioceses are looking at new ways of transporting their bishops” (Ewan Gillings); “Clergy find radical new solution to the country’s transport needs” (Nigel Harris); “Transport of Delight: the environmentalist bishops were so happy sitting on the horse-drawn cart” (John Mair); “I applaud your choice of green transport, Archbishop. Perhaps an electric car next time?” (Helen Crolla); “When the Bishop suggested using a greener vehicle, he didn’t expect them to take him quite so literally” (Jeannie Chamberlain); “It’s the one horsepower, grass-powered, net zero, clergy transport. But parking could be fun without reins!” (Peter Sebbage).


There is also the pressure to keep diocesan costs under control: “Diocesan spending cuts were having a severe impact on the travelling arrangements for senior clergy” (Michael Foster); “The Archbishop was all for economy in expenses, but thought the latest guidance on transport from the Church Commissioners was a little excessive” (Richard Hough); “With the cost of living ever on the increase, the Fathers decided it was either Shanks’s pony or Shanks’s pony and trap” (Fiona Drinkell).


And the diocesan finance officer is keeping a keen eye on expenses, we hear:

“This would be a great way to avoid paying to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone!” (Daphne Foster); Episcopal approach to using a vehicle in ULEZ” (Chris Coupe); Saves £12.50 ULEZ” (Bridget Daley); “‘Are we going to hell in a handcart?’ ‘No, just into the London ULEZ’” (Julian Ashton); “On a visit to London, Archbishop control takes no risks with the ULEZ regulations” (Anthony Goodger); “We’re ready for the next expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone” (Valerie Budd).


Time to revive a BBC classic?

“So, whatever happened to Steptoe and Son?” (Mark Houston); “The remake of Steptoe and Son had a low budget, but a high-calibre cast” (Alison Woods); “It must be true! The BBC are recording a Steptoe and Son Special for their flagship programme, Songs of Praise (Richard Spray); Steptoe and Son reboot cast announced! Archbishop delighted to be involved” (Clive Deverell); “Which one’s Steptoe and which the son?” (Derek Reed); “WANTED URGENTLY. Retired clergy for recycling. H. Steptoe” (Brenda Stone).


Some other entries that we enjoyed:

On their Thrones, or the Bench, or a horse-drawn cart, Synchronised sitting is an Episcopal art” (John Saxbee);The Archbishop and the Bishop mistakenly thought they were going to Hull in a handcart” (John Radford); “Well you know not to put the cart before the horse, so. . .” (Elizabeth Gaskell); At least we put the horse in front of the cart this time, Bishop!” (Che Seabourne); “The Bishops had high hopes of their remake of Ben-Hur(David Hole); “The bishops’ float in the Pride parade, singing “Love and marriage, Go together like a horse and carriage” may have stretched the LLF guidelines” (Michael Doe); “Bishop James seemed blissfully unaware of this tumbril’s destination” (Jonathan Haigh); “The carriage lost a few sections after the horse was switched to a beans and cabbage diet” (Philip Lickley); They may get a parking ticket, but definitely not a speeding fine” (Brian Stevenson); “Senior clerics test the new tumbril for use in church disciplinary procedures” (Philip Belben); “Ruddy train strikes!” (Charles Taylor); On the Wagon being the title of the Archbishop’s latest Lent book, on temperance and fasting” (Martin Kettle); “Bishops led astray, yet again’’ (Peter Walker); “The archiepiscopal limousine could not be started that day” (Philip Deane); “Could be worse, Jim, could be a handcart!” (Bridget Swan).


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


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