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

07 June 2024

Diocese of Gloucester

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 June.

Here is the winning entry for the previous competition:  

 Tom Brossman Tom Brossman 

The verdict was in on the ‘Mary Poppins sermon’: Super Cassock Some Patristics Brolly’s Quite Atrocious (Jonathan Jeffery)


WHEN this picture was chosen, we did not expect to receive so many entries about Rishi Sunak; but then neither did we expect a rain-soaked Prime Minister to call a General Election as the paper went to press:

“Rishi Sunak was looking for that umbrella. Give it back to him at once” (Steve Davies); “I’m sending it to Rishi!” (Roger Hill); “Rishi! Don’t forget your brolly. . .” (Becky Jenkins); “Rishi, do you want to borrow this one?” (Ian Black); This will keep any Tory wet dry” (Janet Stockton); “The PCC has generously agreed to donate this umbrella to the Prime Minister” (Patrick Irwin); “I don’t know if the Prime Minister is listening, but this is an umbrella. It really keeps the rain off when you are outside!” (Nigel Prior); A brolly, a brolly, my vote for a brolly!” (Paulette Yallop).

The Conservatives do not take it well when the C of E offers advice during election time — but the Church is prepared to learn from the governing party’s mistakes:

“With inclement weather predicted following a recent spate of lead-thefts, the Vicar was determined to avoid ‘Doing a Rishi’ at the APCM. . .” (Che Seabourne); “Following the Prime Minister’s drenching in Drowning Street, the Vicar decided to take precautions when announcing the date of the APCM” (John Radford); “Unlike the Prime Minister, the Rector decided she would take no chances with the weather when announcing the election of the churchwardens” (Clive Billenness).

Which party will pledge to fix the church roof while the sun is — or, more likely, isn’t — shining?

“I must get the churchwarden to repair the leaking roof” (Richard and Vivienne Dorey); “Some of you might have noticed that we really are in need of donations to fix the church roof” (Brendan Payne); “ . . . Amen . . . and, by the way, please give generously to the leaky roof appeal” (Jon Moreno); “The St Swithun’s roof appeal was very successful: the PCC was able to commission an appropriately illustrated umbrella to keep the vicar safe and dry during the recent thunderstorms” (Jenny Veasey); “The Vicar encouraged everyone to bring a brolly, as the roof fund was depleted” (Chris Coupe); “Unfortunately, we didn’t reach our church-roof appeal target; so you’ll find one of these at the end of every pew, instead” (Pauline Williams); “ . . . in aid of the Roof Fund. In the mean time, umbrellas are available at only £15 each” (Valerie Budd); “Funding for the church roof was another victim of the financial crisis” (Fiona Drinkell).

Surely, there are votes in pledges to toughen up bat controls?

“The Vicar was not using his brolly to illustrate his sermon on Christ the Protector, nor to protect himself from the rain from the roof, a problem which could be fixed. Rather, it was a guard against the bat droppings, a problem which couldn’t be fixed” (Robin Morgan); Those bats have a lot to answer for!” (Bill de Quick); “The Vicar took every opportunity to support the Just Stop Bat Droppings campaign” (Jo Mash).

A leaky roof can provide some musical inspiration:

“The leaking roof brought on an impromptu rendition of ‘Singing in the rain’” (Maree Foster); “I would like to congratulate our organist on his choice of voluntary for our roof appeal: raindrops do, indeed, keep falling!” (Ray Morris); “What we need to do as a church is to unleash our inner Gene Kelly” (Nigel Harris); “The theft of the lead on the church roof left the vicar singing and praying in the rain” (Mervyn Cox).

Just the person who is needed to clear up messes, literal or metaphorical:

“The Banks family living harmoniously again, Mary Poppins turned her attention to the Little Prickling PCC” (Anne-Marie Naylor); “Thankfully, when the church roof fund became critical, the drama group’s rehearsal of Mary Poppins came to the rescue” (Karen Bowman); “Welcome to the feast of Saints Martha and Mary Poppins” (John Saxbee); “When a songbook of catchy tunes couldn’t tame her wild charges, Mary Poppins instead switched to a well-written sermon” (Philip Lickley); “The Revd Mary Poppins arrived just in time to lead the craft session in Messy Church” (Sue Chick); “Umbrella up like . . . so. Good. Now, super . . . supercatchit . . . no . . . oh, dang it, what was it? Gotta escape this congregation. Super . . . super . . .” (Paul Vincent); “Mary Poppins can exit through the hole in the roof” (Claire Driver); “The Revd M. Poppins had blown away all the other candidates for the post” (Martin Kettle).

Some other entries that amused us:

“Faith is like an umbrella: much more use when it is out in the open” (Chris Parry); “This deals with the leak, and doesn’t need a faculty” (John Appleby); “Raining blessings? Maybe, but I wish there were enough to repair the roof” (Jacky Tivers); “Faith is first praying for rain — and then picking up an umbrella!” (Alison Parry); “I won’t be stopped from reading the Gospel, whatever the weather” (Eunice Owens); “An umbrella is like the Bible: you have to open it to get the benefit” (Mark Parry); “The Vicar was not going to let a leaking roof spoil the wine-tasting evening” (Michael Watts); “You know I am a massive fan of Rihanna; and you can all ‘stand under my umbrella’” (Chaz Griffiths); “The Rector wouldn’t let a shower halt the Church Roof Appeal launch” (Carolyn Owens); There’s no such thing as bad luck, she said, as the light fell down on to her umbrella” (Glenys M. Goodwill); “While the steeple was being repaired, the parochial church council had to find a replacement for the lightning conductor” (Rob Falconer).

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


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