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

05 July 2024

Heidi Moxam

Have a go at our next caption competition (above). Send entries by email only to captioncompetition@churchtimes.co.uk by 9 a.m, Monday 15 July.

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition: 


It’s understanding the doctrine of the Trinity that’s the easy bit; it’s making sense of the off-side rule that beats me (Ray Morris)


EUROS fever continues, as the quarter finals are played this weekend. Germany (where this picture was taken) are on good form. But dare England dream? Opinions vary:

“Of course, we will cancel evening services if England reaches the final” (Patrick Irwin); Well, at least we haven’t had to go home yet” (Richard Hough); Maybe try the south transept rather than the Southgate” (Sheena Batey); “These two will do for the England Euros squad” (Claire Driver); “I think it’ll take more than my help to win the Euros” (Nicola Andrijauskas); Oh Lord, pray that it’s coming home!” (Colin Fielding); “Having the Almighty on one’s side represents a fair advantage” (Richard Strudwick); “Mara Donna! We’re both looking for the hand of God!” (Paul Brett); “Blessed are the England footballers, for they shall inherit the Cup” (Chaz Griffiths).

If the Vatican were to enter a team at the next Euros, what would be its chances?

They were confident about the chances of Vatican United” (Michael Foster); “No wonder the Vatican captain was laughing. They were drawn against England in the Euros” (Vicky Deasley); “The Euros? No, we’re rooting for the Vatican netball team!” (Geoffrey Robinson);We’ve got the ball; now we need to pick a team” (Valerie Slatter).

Failing that, there are rumours of an ecumenical tournament:

“Their first draw will be against the combined Orthodox Eleven” (Chris Coupe); The final of the Church Times interdenominational football championship will be between the Catholics and the Charismatic Evangelicals. The Anglicans of all persuasions failed to qualify in the first round group matches” (Mervyn Cox); “Despite blessing the ball before the match, the Bishop was later forced to deny that the ‘Hand of God’ had had any impact on the final score. The Bishops Eleven had won fairly and squarely” (Paul MacDermott).

We are not sure that trying to combine a caption and a spot-the-ball competition has quite paid off:

New Spot the Ball competition described by readers as too easy” (Helga Brant); “Next time, to make it harder, we’ll remove the ball in our Spot the Ball Competition” (Ken Wilkinson); “Brother Luigi was thrilled when he won the Vatican Spot the Ball competition!” (Sue Chick).

Some other entries for readers’ amusement between matches:

“So, you got the brain, but have you got the touch? Don’t get me wrong; yeah, I think you’re all right” (Julian Ashton); “It was all smiles until the ball hit the woodwork — or the 16th-century altar as it’s known” (Philip Lickley); If he thinks he can play the game wearing his cassock, he’d better think again” (Lynda Sebbage);The away strip was a papal design” (Peter Sebbage); “I cannot tell a lie. It was him what kicked it through the east window” (Paul Vincent); “It’s a football, not a canon ball” (Bill de Quick).

“Sometimes, you just have to take your eye off the ball. . . Look at the camera please, gentlemen!” (John Marshall); “I am passing the ball to my friend. It is important to have it placed in Nonconformist hands!” (Eunice Owens); “Saving goals and saving souls” (Mark Parry); We used to play. Now we just pose for pictures with this ball” (C Dennis Boehle-Silva); I think the Pope might ban your phrase ‘Orbes Tibi!’” (Jane Kearey);Now Agassi and Sampras have aged, God answered their prayer for a larger ball to play with” (Catherine Thorp); They were happy to share the ball as they listened to their favourite hymn “Goalie, goalie, goalie! Lord God Almighty!’” (Jo Mash);The Bishop’s favourite goalies were Bert Trautmann and Pope John Paul ll” (Brian Stevenson); UEFA like it or you don’t” (Martin Kettle).

The lay sportsman and the Catholic cleric were wondering who was giving the football to whom, what for, and whether it had any ecclesiastical significance or import for the Laws of the Game” (Robin Morgan); The congregation clearly misunderstood the Revd’s announcement that his goal was to increase church attendance” (Rob Falconer); “And this is an identikit picture of the culprit who broke our chapel window” (Valerie Ganne).

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


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