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

28 March 2024

Bradford Cathedral

Have a go at our next caption competition (above). Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m, Monday 8 April

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition: 

Sarah du BouleySarah du Bouley 

I want to come down; I’m feeling see sick (Bill de Quick)

THERE are no lengths a bishop will not go to ensure the protection of his see (or should that be sea?): “As you see, the Bishop is going to sea to see his see” (Sue Chick); “Follow me, lads; I’ve got a see of souls who need saving” (John Saxbee); “ . . . for those in peril on the see” (Derek Wellman); “Saving lives at see” (Brian Davies).

The C of E and the RNLI are united by a shared sense of mission: The Aldeburgh lifeboat takes the message ‘Save our souls’ on board” (Julian Ashton); “Evidently there was some confusion over who should respond to a distress call of ‘Save our souls’” (Emma Haggar); “‘To rescue the perishing’ had always been his aim” (Michael Doe); “The Church launches its ‘Saving Souls at Sea’ apostalate” (Richard Strudwick); “You may save others, but can you save yourself?” (Janet Stockton).

Bishops have choppy waters to navigate: “The Bishop had realised that he needed assistance from a lifeboat to negotiate the twists and perils of the General Synod debates” (Richard Hough); “Given the Church of the England being all at sea, the Bishop decided to check out the lifeboat” (Chris Coupe).

Beware following the example of Jesus too closely: “The walking-on-water experiment didn’t go quite as planned” (Fiona Drinkell); “Walking on Water, Lesson 1: Exiting the boat” (John Appleby); All three agreed the rehearsal for Sunday’s ‘Walking On Water’ sermon, had fulfilled all the diocesan health-and-safety regulations” (Jo Mash).

Some other entries for readers’ amusement: “Well, you said you were a window cleaner in your previous job; so you better get on with it — have you got your cloth?” (Steve Davies); “And behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached the deck” (Alison Woods); “Safety is paramount for the scuba-club baptism event” (Helga Brandt); “The stairway to heaven’s looking a bit shaky!” (Jen Bee); “The Bishop wished that he had not had a second sherry before lunch” (Patrick Irwin); “Luckily, the Vicar was rescued when the baptism service got a little out of hand” (Philip Lickley).

“I’m not sure if changing the words to ‘For those in peril on the ladder’ is appropriate!” (Karen Bowman); “They weren’t sure that the new ‘high-vis’ outfit was going to be very practical” (Philip Deane); “If I’m going to continue being asked to bless newly commissioned lifeboats, I really will have to get Vanpoulles to design me a more appropriate outfit for the occasion” (Daphne Foster); “At last, the Bishop had found a way of getting off Alderney after his Christmas service of 2023” (Tony Gilbert); “What a blessing! The boat won’t be needed for the next five minutes or so!” (Eunice Parry); “The Bishop came down the ladder feeling a sense of disappointment — he had not impressed the crew by telling them to follow his example and never give up!” (Eunice Owens).

“The Bishop insisted on a dry run before following in St Peter’s footsteps” (Gavin Williams); “OK, men, I have said a prayer, and the leak should be fixed now” (Paul Strange); And when he was only halfway up he was neither up nor down” (Valerie Budd); “I think I mighta left my crosier in the lifeboat!” (Sue Chick); When Noah emerged from the Ark, he was surprised as well as overjoyed to see the welcoming party waiting to greet him” (Brenda Barwick); “Remember, Your Grace: Eyes on Jesus, not on the waves. On Jesus. Not the waves. . .” (Ian Bartlett); “The Bishop suffered from seasickness; so the blessing had to be ashore” (Brian Stevenson); “The two wildebeest — yes. The two aardvarks — possibly. But doubt was expressed that the two stick insects would remotely enhance the Noah’s Ark sermon illustration” (Nicholas Varnon); “The Bishop’s lifejacket is a bit over the top” (Michael Watts); “No probs, lads. You should see the greasy pole I had to climb to wear this lot” (Martin Kettle); “This is the last time that I travel in economy class” (Colin Fielding).

“The crew became concerned when the Bishop started to hum ‘Will your anchor hold?’” (Michael Foster); “Don’t worry, everyone. We’ll just tell them that it stands for Living in Lifeboats of Faith” (Graeme Blackwell); “Is that URC and RC? I must get C of E up there, too!” (Paul Brett); “O hear us when we cry for hope For those in peril on a boat” (Mervyn Cox); “Women, children, and bishops first” (Stephen Cooper); “Noah made the final safety checks before loading all the animals” (Paul MacDermott); Bishop seeks visual inspiration for James 3.4: ‘So you mean the rudder isn’t in the middle of the boat?’” (Paul Vincent).

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


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