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

07 July 2023

Rebecca Chapman

Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 17 July

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:

Andrew HunterAndrew Hunter

Following the recent spate of lead thefts, the diocesan crime-stopper was called out (Philip Deane)


WELL done to those readers who spotted a swing as well as an arrow:

“The swings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (Michael Doe); “Swings or arrows? You choose” (Jonathan Young); “Don’t venture any further forward — the swing is fully booked!” (Eunice Owens).

While the bishop depicted has long ministered in Newcastle diocese, perhaps he has his sights set further south?

“If I keep practising, I might be considered for the post of the next Bishop of Sherwood” (Ian Raynor); “The interview for the Vicar of Sherwood post was a tad different to most” (Chris Coupe); “The Rural Dean of Sherwood was very keen to hit his targets!” (Mark Parry); “He always said he wanted to play Robin Hood; gather up Big John and the crew and we can practise our aim in the woods” (Emma Middleton); Robin Sher-wood be popular in Nottingham” (Aaron Milne); “When the bride and groom asked for the theme from Robin Hood, they didn’t expect the vicar to be quite so enthusiastic” (Lesley Lickley); “Unfortunately, Robin Hood’s arrows were more lethal and equal” (Graeme Currie); “An applicant to become Rector of Bow was anxious to show how he would identify with his parishioners” (Ray Morris).

Who needs dating apps when an armed matchmaker appears on the scene?

“With so few marriages these days, the Vicar decided to play Cupid” (Valerie Ganne); “Cupid comes in all shapes and sizes” (Sonia Williams); “The parish were surprised when a Cupid arrived instead of a curate” (John Radford); “He always felt he was playing Cupid when he read the wedding banns” (Brian Stevenson).

Some other entries that we have space for this week:

The Archers’ chaplain” (Janet Stockton); “Shortlisting a new ecclesiastical consultant for The Archers (Martin Kettle); “A new way to catch new members of the congregation!” (Meg Gaskell);There’s a clue in the credit: A Hunter” (John Saxbee); “One man’s antithetical stance against the arms race” (Richard Strudwick); “The choir’s budget for their “Jerusalem” performance couldn’t stretch to a bow of burning gold” (Philip Lickley); “The school caretaker was well prepared to ambush any parking infringements” (Julian Ashton); “Bishop Mark’s method of placing curates was a little unorthodox” (Steve Tilley); “Arrow prayers, Vicar, not bow-and-arrow prayers!” (Geoffrey Robinson); The selection process for the new Vicar was rather hit and miss” (Valerie Budd); “With postal strikes and the internet down, the church resorts to sending letters the old-fashioned way” (Ken Wilkinson); “If only arrows were like this in St Sebastian’s day!” (Bill de Quick).

This will literally be one in the eye for the Bishop” (Patrick Irwin); “Pinning the Bishop down to a decision required extraordinary measures” (Sheila Rosenthal); “As a consequence of diocesan spending cuts, this was the best they could manage for a bow of burning gold — and the chariot of fire had become stuck in the uncut grass” (Michael Foster); “It’s like 1 Samuel 20.22: if the arrow goes past you, you must leave” (David Billin); “The collection plate is on its way round — please be generous!” (Rena Plumridge); “Thanks to an unfortunate ministerial typo, the interviews for the new Archerbishop started last week” (Karen Bowman); Also known as ‘Bishop Mark Twang’” (John Appleby); “’Bring me my Bow of Burning Gold, Bring me my Arrows of Desire. . .’” (Pearl Davison); Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day” (Alison Woods);Be not afraid of the arrow that flies by the day — but maybe stand behind the bow and arrow, just in case!” (Sue Chick); Plans for the proposed statue at St Valentine’s caused quite a stir” (Lynda Sebbage); Trying to extract money from the Treasurer” (Ray Ekins); “Volunteers who offered to help tidy the churchyard were startled to find out the consequences of stopping for a rest” (Dave Thompson).

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


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