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

20 January 2023

Rod Corke

Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 30 January

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:


The font keeps getting bigger every year (Craig Lutas)


A CHILLY dip in the sea on New Year’s Day can have unexpected spiritual consequences, it seems:

“I thought I was joining a wild-swimming group — but I got baptised!” (Valerie Budd); “She’d been told that baptism by immersion was much more fun than sprinkling” (Michael Doe); “Vanpoulles were showcasing their new clerical wear for fully immersive baptisms” (Sue Chick); “At the recent church outing to the beach, the wet trouser competition attracted entries from both the vicar and the curate. Not to be outdone, the churchwarden went for full immersion” (Paul MacDermott); “It’s not just for John the Baptist” (Sheena Read) “The bishop hadn’t actually mentioned ‘immersional intelligence’ — he just had a posh accent” (Martin Kettle); “Risk assessment: A lifeguard must be present at all immersion baptism services” (Alistair Bolt); Baptism candidates are safe with us” (Janet Stockton); “This total immersion has been delayed — she forgot to bring a change of clothes” (Wendy Preece).

But only candidates prepared to brave the cold need apply:

“It’s freezing! The next person who insists on a sea-water baptism will have to pay for us to go to the Mediterranean” (Rob Falconer); “This is a far cry from the River Jordan! They weren’t dipped like sheep by jolly vicars. Just one more smile and I will be heading to drier pastures” (Patsy Cann).

Now for a wave of puns:

“As part of a Fresh Expression, the Vacan(sea) in See Committee held a meeting to test the water” (John Radford); “We adopted Resolutions A, B, and Sea in the parish” (James Betteridge-Sorby); “They believed that the tide was coming in for the Church” (Brian Stevenson); “A parting of the waves would be nice right now” (Alison Woods); “The New Year ministry team awayday was going swimmingly” (Michael Foster); “The participants regretted wearing their hol(e)y swimsuits” (Thomas Pocock); “More sea, vicar?” (Mark Parry); “Hanging with the pafishioners, Peter and Andrew were popular members of the fishing community” (Madeline Charlton).

Some other entries that we enjoyed:

I was looking for a Jet Ski with high revs; I didn’t find the Jet Ski, but. . .” (Julian Ashton); “Fathers Time and Tide had got fed up with waiting for no man” (John Saxbee); The ability to walk on water was more successful for some than others” (Victoria Prince); The trio’s wintry paddling was brave, but not quite like that of the super-brave bare-chested ‘Merman’ in the distance” (Lesley Cope); Everybody’s gone surfin’, surfin’ C of E” (Pearl Woods); They laughed at the suggestion that they were in quicksand” (Bill de Quick); The tide cometh and goeth, but here it stayeth” (Peter Sebbage); “The vicars’ brave charity swim in the ice-cold water was more of a doggy-collar paddle (Mervyn Cox); Local churches’ providing the Baywatch teams for the Suffolk area was quite an idea” (Vicky Deasley); When I mentioned I was wild about swimming, I didn’t expect us to go ‘wild swimming’ on New Year’s Day!” (Lynda Sebbage);Evidence that clergy cannot walk on water after all” (Chris Coupe) “Happy New Year from us all at sea . . . of faith” (Geoffrey Robinson);Men in black meet lady in red” (Samantha Davies); “After we have taken this picture, who will be the first to brave the cold water?” (Natalie Blyth); “So much for ‘dry January’!” (Charles Taylor).

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


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