Cartoon ideas required

I’m open to requests for subjects for my weekly Church Times cartoon slot. OK, this is another way of saying I could really do with some ideas. Topics can be anything church-related, or some other issue (such as my election cartoon or the foodbanks one). I can’t make any promises to draw anything on the…


I’m open to requests for subjects for my weekly Church Times cartoon slot. OK, this is another way of saying I could really do with some ideas.

Topics can be anything church-related, or some other issue (such as my election cartoon or the foodbanks one).

I can’t make any promises to draw anything on the subjects suggested, but I print out everything suggested in these blog comments threads and carry it around with me.

If possible I prefer ideas in blog comments (below) or by email. Tweets are appreciated, but they are harder to collect and save.

Thank you in advance for your help.


  1. Running gag in our old church was always ‘but what about the roof’. context being Minister always assessing any possible money spend against possible need to redo roof…. and/or going for every possible scheme that could get money out of tourists etc ‘for the roof’…

  2. more generally, in the lead in to the CoS general assembly (this week) our minister described the gay marriage issue as ‘destructive’. i’d love to see a good cartoon which made it clear that its the way people deal with the issue that ‘destructive’, not the issue itself. but CoS issues probably not something most of your readers would be familiar with.

  3. How about ‘Things the Sunday School teacher should be prepared for’?

    eg 20 extra kids because of big baptism, sermon taking 1hr instead of usual 10mins, child with dislike of standard refreshments, child who won’t sit still, child who won’t stop talking, your *own* child in either of the previous 3 categories, having to prepare obscure passage which somehow got into the teaching programme.

    I could go on!

  4. The penalties of poor lighting in church? Ours constantly go on and off intermittently, during services, during the sermon the pulpit light blinks on and off ; making the preacher either lose their place or look like they’re being interrogated.

    The choir when singing in sync can sometimes lose it a bit and lose us along with them.
    i.e. one part is singing the main lyric, while the other is a word or two behind.

    When the power point projector breaks down, flooring the whole show as they got rid of hymbooks and service books years before – rushing to the photocopier to print out enough for people to be able to particpate.

    The mixup with the tea bags at the coffee counter, giving various flavours of scented tea or green tea with milk (urgh) to punters.

    The accidental trip on the edge of an overlong cassock/alb, and the communion wine gets spilt over the communicants (did that myself).

    The time when the organist stops playing in a six verse hymn on the fifth verse, as their music book has the last verse over the page and we’re left hanging……

    The times when the celebrant using a personal microphone leans forward or back and the sound is muffled.

    The times when the celebrant using a personal microphone forgets to switch if off and a ‘sotto voice’ comment to the servers – I’ve forgotten the banns book is overhead. (and many others)

    The times when the celebrant using a personal microphone leaves and enters the vestry with the mic still on and weover hear an unfortunate comment about somethign or someone.

    In fact, personal microphones could be a whole topic on its own.

    The lent course where everyone brings their own version of the bible and there is an argument about the actual wording of a particular text and what the comments actually mean.

  5. Clashing Room Bookings – early last week in our rooms, some of which interconnect – we had: Toddler group (noisy) – already moved from usual space due to Music Festival (always takes precedence once a year) so also attracted posh children from local public school +pushy parents wanting directions, Credit Union collection point (also moved due to Festival!), childrens work meeting hampered by Life Class (with grumpy teacher) using interconnected room, (whoops!)
    Others groups (church and community based) which use our premises – bee-keepers, Amnesty Group, various U3A classes (birders, art class, history, geology), brownies, guides, beavers, youth; choirs, learning disability group, local literature festival, ballroom dancing, yoga, Naturalists, one-off lectures, jigsaw fellowship group, badminton … probably a group for anything you could think of! We also have a church cafe open daily, oh and services on Fridays and Sundays,
    Oops this seems to have turned into a bit of a rant! (difficult to book rooms for church based stuff sometimes!

  6. What lurks beneath the disused heating grille in the middle of the aisle?

    Use of trigonometry to work out, from the location of the drip inside the church, where to look on the outside of the roof for the problem.

    Who responds to the roof alarm call-out, and how is the order of priority determined? (Me, 6am on Saturday!)

    Who is it who sneaks into church and eats the after-service biscuits during the week?

    Ideas we considered but discarded for stalls at the fete.

  7. The trials and tribulations of running a graveyard – gnomes on graves; elaborate gardens being planted on graves with small trees that will grow into giants; people squabbling about the 2 inch space between the site where their loved ones ashes are buried and those of the next person; unauthorised memorial stones; memorial stones you can’t find at all under the grass, snow, brambles, etc. people who turn up on the doorstep wanting to know where grandma is buried, but aren’t sure whether she was actually buried here at all – they are always just here for that afternoon having travelled from Australia especially to seek her out, but didn’t think to phone in advance to check that anyone would be there to help them – and people who are sure you want to hear their entire family history back to the Norman Conquest…

    1. We have gnomes too – and hedgehogs and butterflies (not too keen on the concrete butterfly that has just appeared). I have given into the researchers and just, at the end, remind them that the fees I am meant to charge amount to several hundred pounds (£11 for details of each baptism or burial)

  8. School visits to church – I’ve just come back from hosting one. It is usually like dealing with a class full of hyperactive kangaroos. You want to make them welcome, but you also want to have an intact church by the end of it! You also have to be prepared to spell the names of every item in the building, and have an answer for every “what’s this?” and “Why?” that they come up with. I label everything, and then forget to take the labels down and the end, so the congregation are greeted with notices all over the place sayin “pulpit”, “pew” “alter (not alter)”. I would probably label the congregation if anyone were to wander in.

  9. Like Anne I have just returned from a school visit. Their ideas about what was the newest and oldest items in the Church were enlightening! The children came with labels to put on everything (Bible, Altar, Font, Pulpit and …Vicar). There was some discussion about what made us sad and happy about Church – a rich seam to cartoon on.

  10. How to select quiet toys for the children’s play area.

    Signs that this church may be the lively, boisterous sort: (drum kit stored behind altar frontal, big colourful banners, balloons on Easter Day (never again!), inside reordered in an orientation the original architect never once considered…

  11. Who visits the Church on weekdays? (Flower arrangers, cleaners, the homeless, explorers, gardeners, historians, people wanting a bit of quiet. people practicing for Sunday – musicians and preachers)

  12. A guide for those joining the welcome rota

    What is the correct number of people with whom to share the peace?

    Controversial ways to increase attendance

    Trendy designs for kneelers

    Health and safety in baptisms

    Dos & don’ts for Sunday school teachers

  13. Inappropriate hymn lyrics e.g Dear Lord and Father at a wedding

    various items in church and what my toddler daughter thinks they are for

    the world cup – a church guide

    the annual church BBQ

  14. what to say when the celebrant gives your kids the leftover communion bread (we don’t use wafers) to feed the ducks…

  15. i once saw an RE homework of an ideal church the south transept was entirely taken up with a white pearly gates bouncy castle

    Also different cars driven by different types of clergy (4×4 in london, sensible by archdeacon, 2 seater by trendy curate, sunroof for bishops mitre to stick through, converted london bus by youth worker (actually our church has a converted bus for out reach – could be another cartoon idea), triumph for hippy vicar who thinks he’s moses, dacia duster for church cleaner, “sic in transit gloria” I know old joke, batmobile for bellringers, monkeemobile for childrens worker


  16. My father has just finished his six-year term as churchwarden. The mysterious ullage at the bottom of the bag that has served as the repository for all things churchwardenly is almost certainly something worth explaining…

  17. Something topical for our church this week: What is the cause of that funny smell in the toilets?
    (I’m not sure if that is suitable for the Church Times though 😉

  18. Non-church: the European elections, where we all vote for European parliament members based on our opinions of national politics. In the same way, I like to order fish at the chip shop by loudly calling Pizza Hut and asking for extra anchovies. That’ll tell ’em.

    Church: Fortuitous and non-fortuitous romantic pairings. Fortuitous: the leader of the band marries a sunday-school teacher. Non-fortuitous: the only tenor who can sing in tune runs off with the lady that organises all the rotas. Yes, that happened.

    Cycling: the future of cycling when all the cars drive themselves; namely, brilliant.

    Church: Blacklists held at the church office – people to whom Ribena will be served at communion, people who cannot arrange flowers, songs to be dropped because of unfortunate words…

  19. Thanks for these cartoon suggestions (and ideas submitted by other means). They make a big difference and will form the basis of most of my cartoons for a month or two.

    (More still welcomed of course!)

  20. The impossibility of rotas – too many jobs, too few willing mugs. EG simultaneously being on prayer ministry corner and tea/coffee both after service, or on creche and meant to be singing in band in same week….

    The sheer horror that is going through some wacky series of questionnaires and studies to find out our vision and mission statement and gifts =- only to end up with less idea at the end.

  21. 1. How badly everyone in leadership is doing but unwilling to help or get involved.

    2. Oppression by power point presentations.

    3. the Vicar’s latest trip photos or references in sermon (e.g. When I was in … sprinkled into the sermon.)

  22. The joy of using video clips in a talk; ie 5 ways video goes wrong in church

    1 The wrong clip is played. Possibly very wrong.
    2 The interminable wait for a clip to start, prefaced by vicar/speaker/sound desk person exclaiming “it worked fine earlier”
    3 The clip plays but there is no sound
    4 There is sound but there are no moving pictures
    5 Nothing happens on screen apart from a mad cursor frantically trying to open windows/click arrows etc

    And that’s leaving aside all CCLI issues, volume problems, small children crying etc

    1. 6. The clip stops playing every couple of seconds.
      7. The picture is too big for the screen.

      (This suggestion is my favourite 🙂

  23. What would it be like if the adult service was run on the same lines as the children’s work?
    – The start time of the service could be any time within a 30 minute window, depending on when the previous event finished, yet the end time was fixed.
    – Early on in the service someone who is not experienced in working with adults gives a short talk to the adults which is nothing to do with the sermon that’s coming up.
    – Towards the end of the sermon some people would come in at the back and talk loudly to each other, while the preacher tries to keep the attention of the congregation.

    1. My (extremely gracious) community loves when we do this 😀 Especially when we include craft.

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