What would you like me to draw?

This is a sample (‘Ways to keep warm’ – January) from my 2015 calendar, which we are now about 3.5%* of the way through. Just looking around my office I’ve found a couple of spare copies and I thought I’d give them away. At the same time, you may have noticed that I appear to…


This is a sample (‘Ways to keep warm’ – January) from my 2015 calendar, which we are now about 3.5%* of the way through. Just looking around my office I’ve found a couple of spare copies and I thought I’d give them away.

At the same time, you may have noticed that I appear to be writing every day on this blog. This may or may not be anything to do with my Grandiose Plan**, I can’t really say. I’d quite like some suggestions for subjects to draw about on the blog, and if there are some church or cycling ideas, so much the better.

So, if you’d like one of these two over-90%-useful calendars then just suggest, using the comment form below, one or more topics that you’d like me to draw a cartoon about. It can be anything – no need for it to be a church-related idea (but they are always very useful). I won’t promise to draw everything you suggest, but I’ll try to do some. Closing date: 48 hours from now, so 7pm on Thursday 15 January.

Rules: 1) I make the rules; 2) Winners chosen randomly; 3) Entries only on the blog please – Tweets and Facebook comments won’t be included for the purposes of the calendar giveaway I’m afraid (ideas sent by email always welcomed, but if you can post a comment too that would help with random choosing); 4) The prizes may not be posted until the middle of next week, as Moorgate Post Office is the only one in the country without a queue; 5) If you don’t want a calendar that’s fine. If you win then just tell me and I’ll choose someone else.

* Maths may be wrong
** Only three people know the details of the Grandiose Plan


  1. love your cartoons. Ben ( 9) says could you draw something about how to keep bored children entertained during a particularly long and dreary sermon 🙂 ( we dont have a Sunday school in our church as its not big enough – yet )


    Caz Hamilton

  2. Hi there

    I think a cartoon of a farewell lunch for a minister where everyone is saying nice things but really they are so excited to get rid if him would be great!

  3. I would love a calendar! Why not do a cartoon on the lesser saints and feast days of the church?

  4. Ways to stay awake during the sermon/homily? (For other people, of course … I *never* fall asleep.)

  5. How about a cartoon on fundraising – either ways of fundraising, or things churches raise money for?

  6. You may have already done this and apologies if so, but how about combining cycling and the church with a cartoon about the annual sponsored cycle ride in September? I remember one year (I was four months from a hip replacement and had no strength in one leg) when I puffed and wobbled up the smallest hill while my lycra-clad son-in-law waited patiently at the top. So, the contrasting types who do it, perhaps?

  7. We would love a calendar!
    The five most argued-over things in church
    Uses for a dismantled organ
    Ways we reach out to the community
    The church’s Major Incident Plan
    What happens at the ecumenical meeting
    Things Vicars get asked to do by local groups
    What the minutes say, and what really happened
    Handbook for new vicars – things never to say out loud

    That’s me done for now…

  8. How about a guide for churchwarden’s on last minute preparation for a visit from the archdeacon. (Hide the kettle with the frayed lead, remove posters for last years christingle etc….)

  9. How about choosing a new vicar, how to decide hymns for a Sunday, preparing for a Bishop’s visit, characters and happening at after service coffee, something around a shared lunch (competitive food bringing).

  10. I would like you to draw a cartoon of a church procession. My church is ‘high’ Anglican and there is a lot of humorous material in processions rojnd church, especially when the leader goes the wrong way and crashes into the rest of the procession etc. many thanks Sheila

  11. Hey Dave!

    How about a guide to recruiting volunteers?

    Any wisdom you’d like to share before next year gratefully received!

    Loads of blessings,

  12. Ooooooo so many idea’s….

    Election campaign for PCC membership ( Over the top with signs and opinion polls etc )
    managing the church face book page…. what to write ?
    ‘likes’ on prayer requests post V’s ‘likes’ on lost kitten posts
    something on hand raising during songs / hymns… nimby’s
    the sign-up sheet V’s reality of who turns up to tidy the graveyard
    stacking chairs for Jesus
    Just starting Alpha / just finishing Alpha
    thinking of exciting new church fundraising plans… in the shadow of a massive thermometer.
    can i put out of date baked bean’s in the foodbank box ?
    emptying out uncollected christmas cards from the church pigeon holes..
    what is the splash radius for the blessing ? ( is it just the people in the first few rows ? is it everyone who can hear? everyone in the building – does it stop at the door ? ) ( I-T-C )
    the different moods of people sharing the peace, the Hug everyone / the polite but firm handshake at arm lengths / don’t come near me in embarrassment’s

    Right that’s me done for now, apologies if you’ve done any or all of these before!

  13. Thank you as always for keeping us smiling (if sometimes wryly)

    Some cartoon suggestions (sorry, all clergy driven):
    1) the things they never taught you at vicar school
    2) what really happens at clergy chapter
    3) the things that can scupper your Sunday journey between rural churches (oblivious pheasants, octogenarian pelaton, early picnickers etc)
    4) biscuits

    Ta xxx

  14. Things to do at a Forest Church meeting (welly booted people slipping on mud; getting lost and climbing to the top of a tree to look for everyone else; dancing a Scottish reel during the service simply to keep warm; realising that five other people have also picked up an acorn for the “say what today’s walk has meant for you” spot).

  15. seen on a cyclists t-shirt: “if you see me lying on the ground, please pause my Garmin”

    Dave I’m sure you could do something with that!

  16. I have a calendar which I won in another competition and its brill 🙂 Thanks
    (I wonder are they all given away? You should try selling them 🙂 )

    I love your political stuff – two that stand out are your Charlie one the other day and the row of houses with only one voting person. Perhaps during the election you should focus on some of the political issues. Not necessarily taking sides but highlighting the confusion and silliness.

    Maybe a look in the various “Battle Buses” the parties will have (I’m sure the Lib Dems will just have something cheap like an ex Status Quo tour bus)

    You should get in first before they appear


  17. My four (almost five, he reminds me) year old would like a cartoon about a mouse train. That is, a train for mice. Such trains, he informs me, run all over the world, in and out of major buildings. Churches, it seems, are particularly well-served by the mouse rail network. I guess it’s how church mice get about.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to see alternative uses for high/low church accouterments (monstrance, power point projector, thurible, smoothie bar, etc.) left behind when the old rector leaves and the new rector does not share his or her predecessor’s churchmanship. i.e, what the heck am I supposed to do with all these cheesy, multicoloured, rainbow and unicorn bedecked polyester stoles?

  18. Your cartoons about church life are spot-on!
    How about a cartoon on one of the hugest challenges faced by the Anglican Church: who puts what on the noticeboards- people from other churches sneaking in and promoting their events, taxi drivers leaving their cards, people moving each others notices about and ‘accidentally’ tearing the notice in order to obtain the only available drawing pins,the small fluffy toy that some kid dropped in church, notices for events that happened before the flood,…and the notice about mission to the hungry in the third world obscured by invites to church suppers, Burns nite feast, slimming world etc..

    Not to mention a quantity of ancient leaflets scattered around the church entrance that surely mean that a rainforest in Brazil is missing several trees…

  19. Hi Dave, since you are a regular attendee how about something about the difference between Christian and non-Christian festivals? Others ripe (if not already covered) are the various people in the church choir; the rules of side persons and the order you go up for communion (and subsequently do or do not find your pew / seat); young energetic vicars / curates and slightly less engaged PCC / incumbent; the rules of the Christmas Fayre; how we welcome visiting worshiper in the summer / Christmas and how they may do things differently to us (prompted by my experiences of singing ‘Babe in a Manger in Scotland to the tune of ‘Morning has Beoken’; denominational differences / similarities; I could go on but won’t.

    Thanks Dave. 🙂

  20. How about the perils of applying for a faculty to reorder a Grade I listed church?
    The cast of characters: Vicar and PCC praying for strength as they don helmets and flak jackets; objectors – who never darken the doors of the building or support the work of the church in any way but still feel qualified to defend ‘their’ church from ‘happy-clappy vandals’ ( i.e anyone for whom the Prayer Book is not the liturgical resource of first resort or who dares to use the ‘modern’ version of the Lord’s prayer or, brace yourself….actually shares The Peace!!); the fundraising committee wondering how to turn a soggy Victoria sponge and some pork pies left over from the last ‘bring and share’ into a money making opportunity….

  21. Next week is the week of prayer for Christian unity. How about a cartoon for a united service bringing together different denominations and traditions into one service.

    More controversially, what about a cartoon reactions when a church member / leader / vicar comes out as gay.

    1. Sorry, I missed out a word. The second suggestion should read:
      “What about a cartoon showing reactions when a church member / leader / vicar comes out as gay”

  22. Suggestions for cartoons:
    The bias of different newspapers
    Giving to charity
    The election
    The rush hour
    The PCC meeting
    The supermarket shop

  23. Love your cartoons, and would love a calendar – didn’t get one this year.

    Maybe you could do a cartoon about receiving lots of calendars – making sure the right relative/friend sees the right one (they’ve given you)
    Teenage boys shouting at PS3/Xbox games
    Loads of people trying to “just have a word” with the vicar before the service starts
    Church car parking etiquette (or lack of it)

  24. Thanks for the cheering cartoons – already have calendar but would like to see:
    – Not owning the ground under my house any more if they approve the fracking trespass law change next week.
    – Strategies for prospective youth pastors to use in winning the votes of youth Sunday school class on a first meeting.
    – The desperate need for DEFRA to kill a small happy family of beavers on the river Otter in Devon. While evreyone tries to ignore the 150+ living wild around the river Tay in Scotland.

  25. How about a cartoon depicting those people who absolutely refuse to look at the overhead projector screen in any circumstance whatsoever? Definitely got some of those in our church…

  26. Lunches You Can Make In The Office Microwave

    Ways Cyclists Stay Warm And Dry (Leaving You No Excuses For Not Being A Cycling Commuter)

    How To Mend A Rear Puncture
    (mine bike is currently out of action because I don’t really know how to deal with this)

    12 Pieces Of Evidence Suggesting The Verger Did It

    Events Following The Only Organist Being Taken Ill

    Terrible Sermon Visual Aids
    – I once sat through a sermon about 5 lettuces, from the phrase ‘Let us ….’, but all I remember is lettuces

    Memes You’ll Wish You Could Forget
    – e.g. the Jesus Tortoise; I noticed our vicar carefully pronouncing ‘the prayer that Jesus taught us’, and wondered what else it could sound like. From then on, I could only see the Jesus Tortoise every time we got to that bit of liturgy.

    What You Would See With A More Powerful Bike Light
    (badgers, peculiar parking arrangements, pensioners shielding their eyes)

    Ways To Be More Visible To Drivers
    (flashing arrangements of LEDs around your body, using hundreds of reflectors, a little sign saying ‘smile, you’re on camera’)

    How To Combine Exercise And Work
    (the only sensible way is to cycle to work)

    Methods For Teaching Children To Ride A Bike

    The General Election 2015 And Who To Vote For
    – a comparison of the leaders, parties and what they will say, in which they all say the same thing (reassuring noises about limiting immigration, frowningly serious about protecting the NHS, something vague about excellence in education).

    What A Fast Bike Looks Like, And What Looks Fast On A Bike

    Causes Of Injuries To Cyclists

    Trikes Vs Bikes

    Recumbent Cycles And Velomobiles

    Species Of Cyclist

    Names Of All My Gears
    – clunky, whirry, whee, huffnpuff

    How Cyclists See In Heavy Rain
    – tiny wipers, motorbike helmet, take the car, stay at home

    Things That Slow Your Bike Down
    – under-inflated tyres, unmaintained chain, sticking brakes, failure to attach wheels, leaving it in the garage, no go-faster stripes

    Cycling: Imagined Vs Reality
    – downhill wheee vs 15 minutes in bottom gear, hair flying in the breeze vs helmet hair, baguette in the basket vs cornershop plastic loaf, sportiveness vs a well earned mug of tea in a steamed up cafe on a rainy afternoon.

    Saddles Of The World
    comfortable, uncomfortable, wide, soft, punishing

  27. (1) A day in the life of an interim (temporary) pastor or any church staff member

    (2) When our church closed, we had to visit other churches, and it felt very strange to have to fill out forms for churches we were visiting with all of our information on it so that our children could attend Sunday School. (Not sure if that is a thing that happens where you live, but it is a very common thing in the churches here.) Maybe a form with the usual name, address, etc, with other more intrusive — or funny — questions on it.) I always wondered why you had to fill out if you are married, divorced, or widowed — seemed a little “none of your business” to me.

  28. How about a combination? Under “Cycles of the Church,” depict the entries “Cycles of the Seasons” (Advent to Easter); “Cycles of Prayer”; and “Cycles of Cookham” (parked outside the church)– or some such!

    All best,

  29. I’d never heard of the Jesus Tortoise till now. PhilH, thank you (I think).
    I suggest any activity combined with, or any activity set aside in favour of, having a cup of tea. Boil the water in the frayed lead kettle of course. My great aunt donated that kettle and don’t you dare get rid of it.

  30. One more idea: Anatomy of the church food pantry (full of food to give out to the community) — Is it only full of donations of 100’s of cans of canned tuna and green beans and maybe only one can of donated peaches? What do people donate?

  31. cycling:
    ‘Alternative uses for your bicycle when you are not riding it’

    ‘How to disguise the fact you are having a nap during the sermon’

  32. Oh go on then …

    What happens to the food left from the church meal
    Five ways to baffle a youth worker
    Origami guide to emergency clerical collars
    When Action Songs Go Wrong
    Unexpected visual aids
    How to spot a Methodist
    Protest marches: a guide to etiquette

    and finally …
    Hand signals cyclists use – and what they really mean

  33. 1) What a church without a building looks like…church plant style
    2) Theology student in library trying to find the book they want while trying to resist the ones they want to read!
    3) Believers Baptism…choices flow chart: pool/lake/sea, or perils of, or things to remember
    4) Things that distract while praying
    5) Random skills we are meant to acquire while helping someone out…making humous/soup…I can write a list
    6) Bookmarks we can end up with in a Bible and where they came from
    7) Seats in church, who site where and why
    8) Random ways to be inspired for cartoons
    9) Where the ideas for the sermon come from
    10) Pastoral care
    Thank you for your fab reflections on life.

  34. 2 ideas sparked from recent experience:

    1) a diagram showing the locations of switches in the church in relation to the things they switch on (you may already have done this!)

    2) Reasons these churches won’t work together: the great washing up debacle of 1976 / a dispute over the correct lighting of Advent candles in 1924 / they took different sides during the English civil war in 1642 (true story!)

  35. I really like the cheese cartoon. Also there is a charity (Stroke Association) cycle ride over the Thames Bridges on 10th May, Could you do cartoons of a cyclist by Tower Bridge, Westminster Bridge and other bridges ?

  36. I now declare this competition… closed.

    Thank you so much for all these ideas, as well as those sent by other means. Really fantastic. I will be printing everything out and will refer to them a great deal in coming weeks.

    I will do the draw for the prizes tomorrow, and announce on the blog.

    Thanks again!

  37. Congratulations to Andrew Betts and Scott, who are the winners as chosen by a random number generator (ignoring second comments).

    Thanks again everyone.

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