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

03 March 2023

Sister Judi CSF

Have a go at our next caption competition (above, click for the full image)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 13 March

Here are the winning entries for the previous competition: 


Rebranding the sacrament of reconciliation as “time to make up” had unfortunate results (Michael Doe)

“Listen up: when he says ‘The Lord is here,’ they’ll say ‘Oh no, he isn’t’ and you’ll say ‘Oh yes, he is.’ OK?” (John Saxbee)


THIS week’s picture brought to the surface what some readers really think of the General Synod:

“We borrowed your make-up, to play at being General Synod, ’cos we heard Dad say they’re a bunch of clowns” (Ray Morris); A three-ring circus? No, General Synod was last month” (Jonathan Jeffrey); “There was too much clowning around at General Synod for some members” (John Radford); “Just a few tweaks with digital-camera-filter-and-airbrush technology made Synod appear as though there was ‘joy in the faith’ after all!” (Charles Taylor).

And, it seems, their PCCs:

“For the first time, description of the PCC as a bunch of clowns was not unjustified” (Stephen Disley); “The PCC continued to make the most of the interregnum, dressing up as clowns this week to amuse the congregation” (Paul MacDermott);

The jury is out on whether this will be a tough crowd for the preacher:

“You can borrow my squeaker if you promise to laugh at my jokes” (Sue Chick); “So, could you show me how to get the pulpit doors to fall off at the start of each sermon?” (Karen Bowman); “I hope you don’t mind if my sermon contains language as colourful as your dress” (Brian Stevenson); “The Vicar was hoping someone would give her a joke to tell in the sermon” (Richard Hough); “Psst. Who is the clown in the pulpit?” (Mark Parry).

Some other entries that we enjoyed:

“Our diocese has a reputation for welcoming clowns” (Janet Stockton); “The Archdeacon says that there is a difference between being clowns and clowning around” (Patrick Irwin); At the clown-themed service, the churchwarden wasn’t sure if spraying holy water from a comedy sunflower was that appropriate” (Philip Lickley); There will be some vacancies in central government which might suit you?” (Linda Tait); “Behold, I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your clown” (Martin Veith); “Is this where we find out about the unicycle of prayer?” (Alison Woods); “I would have joined in, but my Big Top’s in the wash” (Joan Workman); “Communication Looks Obvious, With Noticeable Surprises” (Michael Foster); “Listen, you lot, I don’t want any more funny business in church” (Sandra Cloud); “The new churchwarden was just checking that the group at the service for St Genesius were from the International Clown Fraternity, and not the Ecclesiastical Law Association. Easy mistake to make” (Vicky Deasley); The candidates for spot the bishop were well disguised” (Chris Coupe); “Sorry, we’re singing ‘Lo! He comes with clouds descending’ not ‘clowns ascending’” (Stephen Low).

And some more:

Oh, where did you get that hat?” (Helen Warrener); “I’m terribly sorry, and we are welcoming, but clowns throwing custard pies at the celebrant is not covered in Common Worship (Robin Morgan); “Psst! You’ve come here on the wrong week — Messy Church is next week. I saw you hiding that custard pie!” (Madeline Charlton); Thanks for all your generous donations today, but unfortunately the bank won’t accept chocolate coins and Monopoly money” (Amy Bennett); All things bright and beautiful. . .” (Pearl Davison); “You must be the groom’s family” (Liz Burton); “Don’t worry, the whole congregation is full of clowns!” (Joo Dee); Have you heard? Our Vicar is a clown, too” (Mervyn Cox); I heard you were off-colour” (Brian Davies); Can I pencil you in for face-painting at the church fête next week?” (Janet Bennett); But, Vicar, holy fools have to be yellow. We call it Custard Pi” (Martin Kettle); Sorry, won’t be able to join in the dancing on the bronze plates, as I hurt my ankle while ‘clowning around’ earlier today” (Paul Bennett) OK, so we’ll make the pews larger so your shoes will fit in” (Valerie Ganne); It was hardly a dignified funeral; so the Vicar wasn’t surprised when all the doors of the hearse fell off” (Rob Falconer).

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


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