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

06 January 2023


Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 16 January

Here are the winning entries for the previous competition:


The three British Prime Ministers of 2022 come together for a Christmas charity event (Patrick Irwin)


BEING a wise man is hungry work:

“They have a 3 for 2 on at the Royal Star; you can have the tikka, and me and Geoff will have the Balti (Fiona Drinkell); “Look, we all agreed on Burger King; so just pick something from the menu!” (Susan Patel).

Especially when they can’t agree on the directions:

“No wonder they didn’t arrive until Epiphany — they couldn’t agree on the route” (Vicky Deasley); “Your SatNav doesn’t do stars — it’s clear that you change at Marylebone and go west” (Peter Sebbage); “The three wise men were wise enough to ask for directions when they got lost; so that’s what makes them wise men” (Lisa Day); “But there’s no point sitting here waiting — we definitely should be following the star of Bethlehem and then we’ll find him” (Jennifer Stokes).

Or are they each Santa Claus, jockeying for position?

“It says: ‘If I’m the main Claus, then you are two subordinate ones’” (John Saxbee); “Look, it’s official, I am the real Father Christmas” (Ann Fitzpatrick); “With respect, have either of you taken any notice of the Santa rota?” (Jacky Tivers); “It clearly shows on this rota that it’s my turn this year” (Thelma Martin); “Typical! You wait all year for Father Christmas and three come along at once” (Jo Mash); “‘Look, it says here I am Nicholas!’ ‘No, I am Nicholas!’ ‘I am Nicholas!’ This isn’t going to end well” (Mark Johnson); “Bishop Nicholas of Myra and his suffragans — an illustration of a main Claus supported by two sub-Clauses” (Charles Taylor); “Having won the Royal Mail contract to clear the Christmas parcels backlog, Santa Deliveries Ltd had to take on extra staff” (Mervyn Cox).

It’s all quite confusing:

“I think we have to make a decision on the music. ‘We Three Kings’ or ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’?” (Karen Bowman); “According to this, we are meant to be wise men in Bethlehem, not Santas in Bethnal Green” (John Marshall).

Some other entries that we enjoyed:

“Santa, Santa, Santa . . . followed by the Benedictus” (Michael Doe); “Can’t wait for Twelfth Night — close shaves and full facials!” (Mark Parry); “If you think our beards are long, then you have never met our grannies!” (Alison Parry); “The Bishops solved the conundrum in the ‘Nick of time’” (Lesley Cope); “It simply won’t work. We can’t fit the liturgy for the Trinity into an Advent carol for Santa. You will clear the church out!” (Patsy Cann); “It’s the Archbishops’ Christmas wish list” (Keith Glover); “Those naughty choirboys! They’ve swapped the music at the last minute for ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’” (Jane Holyland); “I assume this is a typo? We’re on the naughty list!” (Alison Woods); “Dismayed at the thought of exclusion from an elected second chamber, their lordships examined the proposals carefully, Claus by Claus” (Tom Corfield).

“Three mitred Santas, Two fluffy beards, And a finger pointing to a book” (Paul Brett); “Wippell launch their collection of new winter mitres to an expectant public” (Richard Hough); “Don’t go down this chimney, the archdeacon hasn’t had it swept” (Bill de Quick); “Duty done, the three wise Fathers only needed a quick robe change in readiness for Epiphany” (Alison Rollin); “Scientists behind the cloning of Dolly the Sheep report successful cloning of ++Rowan Williams” (Mick Hough); “As the Christmas service reaches page 197 of 600, the Bishops realise they’ll need to shave again” (Philip Lickley); “I’ve just found the details of a barber in Bethlehem — but he’s only rated one star” (Michael Foster); “Look, a complaint: the Elf Discussion Group says you’re getting too eyebrow” (Joan Workman); “A new clause has been inserted into the liturgy” (Janet Stockton); “It says we are wise. Is that you, or me? It can’t be him” (Robert Shooter); “Should have gone to Specsavers — it says ‘Father, Chrism mass’” (Martin Kettle); “Oh, for goodness’ sake, Balthasar. Verse three is my verse” (Jo Saunders); “The C of E’s flying bishops plan their routes for midnight masses” (John Radford); “After much debate the Synod confirmed the Santa clause” (Jim McManus).

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


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