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

21 June 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 1 July.

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:

Diocese of Gloucester   

 No, it’s not the one I wore at the Coronation! (John Saxbee)


IN TOUGH economic circumstances, it is good to see church leaders making economies:

“This is part of the church’s new economy drive. Make your own mitre! Just £2 from Hobby Craft (other stationery stores are available). Do you think this colour suits me?” (Steve Davies); “Church also affected by austerity measures — having sold the church gold, they have resorted to ‘make-your-own’ headwear” (Terri Jenner); Due to low church funding, Sunday school has made a mitre” (Claire Driver); Vanpoulles’s budget range proved very popular” (Valerie Budd);It’s from our new cheap-and-cheerful range” (Janet Stockton); “I bought this mitre at Lidl. It saved a fortune” (Martin Turner); The launch of the Messy Church Vestment Supply Company heralded welcome savings for the Church of England” (Denise Noble)

The new range of mitres is also popular for environmental reasons:

“When your divine budgets are hard but your faith in recycling is unshaken” (Nigel Dibble); “The Archbishop is keen to encourage more environmentally friendly vestments with the use of recycled materials” (Pearl Davison); “‘You shall go to the General Synod . . . with your eco-mitre and recycled glass slippers!’ declared Revd Flora and Revd Fauna” (Jo Mash); “The Archbishop was keen to show off his new biodegradable mitre” (Patrick Irwin).

And this mitre is easier to pack on communion visits:

“Just in — the new lightweight travel mitre” (John Radford); “The Archbishop preferred a lighter mitre” (Brian Stevenson).

But it appears to present problems with identifying who he is:

“‘No, I really am the Archbishop of Canterbury,’ replied Justin” (Vicky Deasley); “OK, it’s a paper hat, but surely you recognise an archbishop when you see one?” (Mark Parry); “Actually, I’m the plumber, but I got the hat in one of your charity sales. . .” (Rob Falconer); “Hmm. . . Big pointy hat. . . Cross. . . Er, am I a pirate?” (Ian Todd).

A few questions about the choice of colour:

“The Archbishop’s usually infallible eye for the appropriate liturgical colour was being called into question” (Philip Deane); “Why are you supporting Holland in the Euros, Your Grace?” (Ray Morris); “I think orange mitre be my colour, you know” (Erica Mackay).

A selection of readers’ puns:

“I mitres well follow the new health-and-safety advice” (Helga Brandt); “Yes, sorry to laugh, but I thought you ‘might-er’ made your hat at Messy Church” (Paulette Yallop); “Thought I mitre try another hat?” (Andrew Carr); “All together now! For he’s a Mitre Good Fellow, and so say all of us!” (Chaz Griffiths); “They were giggling at his hat-making efforts. Perhaps he mitre done better” (Tom Page).

Some other entries that we enjoyed:

Well done, Bishop, but we only wanted you to show the class how to make a paper crown” (Fiona Drinkell); “A distracted Justin did not notice he was being craftily checkmated just to his left” (Alison Woods); I usually wear this one in bed” (Peter Walker); “‘Do you have to be an Archbishop to get a party hat?’ enquired Bishop Rachel” (Jacky Tivers); “Here’s one I made earlier. . . Phew . . . No one has noticed the sticky-back plastic” (Karen Howe); “If you want to win The Masked Singer, you’d better turn yours upside down” (Ken Wilkinson).

“The churchwarden made a note in next year’s diary to place a repeat order for the Lambeth Special Offer Festival Crackers for the Pentecost Party” (Jenny Veasey); “‘What’s so funny about coming straight from a kiddies’ birthday party’, said the Archbishop, ‘and then presiding over a Pontifical High Mass for the World Council of Churches?’” (Bill de Quick); “‘Heads up.’ ‘Am I a UFO?’ ‘We’lby late, time to go.’” (Melissa Webb); Anyone for a game of pass the mitre? When the music stops ‘might her’ (or his!) calling to the top job finally be confirmed?” (Gaynor Sanders); “Archbishop Welby quite liked the carboard mitre, but not so much the sticky-back plastic trousers or crepe paper Y-fronts” (Philip Lickley).

“The Social and Fundraising Committee noted that the Pentecost Parade seemed to attract a higher level of support than the traditional Easter Bonnet competition” (Jenny Veasey); “The young man is correct! The Archbishop looks as though if he is about to join a fancy dress parade!’ (Eunice Owens); The newly ordained clergy had just done some training in crèche work, and had presented the ABC with a mitre made by one of their charges” (Robin Morgan); “Justin was delighted to be flying off on holiday with EasyJet and made a special effort to dress appropriately” (Martin Kettle); “I was going to wear it to the Venice Carnival, but I was told I was supposed to wear a disguise, not an advertisement!” (Geoffrey Robinson)

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


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