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

16 February 2024


Have a go at our next caption competition (above)Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m., Monday 26 February

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:


I didn’t expect my introduction to Christianity to be quite so muscular (Susan Stokes)


LENT is a time of struggle, but we did not know people went to such lengths to fight temptation:

“In Lent, one must face demons, but this was going to be an uppercut struggle” (Brian Stevenson); “Brother James had decided to wear boxing gloves for Lent to make it harder for him to enjoy chocolate” (Sue Chick); “During Lent, special purple gloves prevent the temptation to try and open the biscuits” (Jo Mash); “Graham felt his Lent programme might be a bit of a challenge this year” (Vicky Deasley); “The Revd Rocky was rehearsing an illustration for his Lent sermon on fighting temptation” (Michael Foster); “At least we’ve stopped the Reverend biting his nails” (Valerie Ganne); “Canon Fodder practising for his next sermon on ‘Biffing the Devil’, using a punchbag he had installed in the vestry” (Robin Morgan).

Visual aids can be helpful, if not always so visually striking:

“Enacting the hymn ‘Fight the good fight’ took on a whole new meaning” (Lynda Sebbage); “Welcome to our series of creative re-enactments of favourite hymns. This week, ‘Fight the good fight’; next week, ‘Bind us together’” (Nigel Harris); “The Revd Jacob prepares his visual aid for the Boxing Day sermon” (Mary Cooper).

It is unclear whether this interpretation of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is supported exegetically:

“Turn the other cheek!” (Alison Stringer); “In ‘holy sparring’, if I hit you on the right cheek I would expect you to immediately turn the other one!” (Mark Parry); “When Jesus said, ‘Turn the other cheek,’ I don’t think he was teaching boxing” (Robert Shooter).

Some other entries that amused us:

“He was always going to fail in boxing, as his opponent expected the right cross” (Philip Lickley); “Fr James was training for the next series of Gladiators (Valerie Budd); “From Messy Church to Sweaty Church” (Alan Munden); “I’m not taking on anyone with pectorals like that” (Martin Kettle); “He’d thought the invitation to ‘spar’ had been to collect a donation for the church foodbank” (Joan Workman); “Our minister was well known for his ‘hard-hitting’ sermons” (Alison Parry); “In the absence of ploughs or pruning hooks” (Richard Strudwick); “Practising defensive moves for when the shirt will match the gloves” (Eunice Parry); “Mattins, midday office, evensong, box office” (Trees Fewster); “The church where the sermons really pack a punch!” (Gail Donaldson); “We said handle the parishioners with kids gloves, not boxing gloves” (Ken Wilkinson).

“‘Getting ready for PCC, Vicar?’ ‘Yes! Pugilist Clergy Club!’” (Che Seabourne); “The vicar knew it was going to be a tough PCC meeting” (Chris Coupe); “Pugnacious pastor must defrock before landing punches below the belt!” (Dev Nallathamby); “Any other business?” (Melanie van Looy); “The Vicar was well prepared for the Archdeacon’s visit” (Mervyn Cox); “Fr Peter appears to have forgotten Christ’s second commandment: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’” (Daphne Foster); “Greater glove hath no man than this” (Richard Martin); “OK, so your idea has more punch in it than mine, but I thought we agreed to love our enemies instead? Wasn’t that what Jesus said?” (Steve Davies); “And the greatest of these is my right glove” (Jonnie Parkin); “‘That’s the way to do it!’ exclaimed Punch” (Peter Walker); “Not so much Raging Bull as Reciting Paul. . . I warn you I do not fight like a boxer beating the air (1 Corinthians 9.26)” (Paul Vincent).

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


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