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by Michael Ford last modified 15 Sep, 2021 05:13 PM

Parish magazines come up with real classics: see below. Some of these have been edited.

Updated Listing = latest updates

for consideration

See also:
Children's letters to God
Classic misprints
Holiday humour
Home truths
Love redefined by children
Olympics and Sport

Bishop Karen

A joke for the IT- aware/ wary among us...

A shepherd was looking after his sheep one day on the side of a deserted road, when suddenly a brand-new racing car screeches to a halt. The driver, dressed in a branded suit and tie with branded shoes, shades and smart watch, gets out and asks the shepherd, ‘If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?’

The shepherd looks at the young man,  looks at his large flock of sheep, and replies ‘OK’. The young man uses a NASA app to locate and scan the ground, then uses two AI image-recognition apps to count the sheep and says, ‘You have 1,586.’

‘That’s correct,' says the shepherd. The young man takes an animal and puts it in his car. Just as he is about to drive off, the shepherd asks him: ‘If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?’

The young man answers ‘OK’.

The shepherd says, ‘You are an IT consultant’.

‘How did you know?’ asks the young man.

‘Very simple’ answers the shepherd.

‘Firstly, you came here without being called. Secondly, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew, and thirdly you don’t understand anything about my business. Can I have my dog back please?’

 Bodenham, Britford, Charlton All Saints, Nunton and Odstock

Hymns for all occasions from News and Notes

  • The Contractor's Hymn: The Church's One Foundation
  • The Decorator’s Hymn: All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • The Dentist's Hymn: Crown Him with Many Crowns
  • The Doctor's Hymn: The Great Physician
  • The Electrician's Hymn: Send the Light
  • The Estate Agent's Hymn: I've got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
  • The Golfer's Hymn: There's a Green Hill Far Away
  • The Gossip's Hymn: Pass It On
  • The Massage Therapists' Hymn: He Touched Me
  • The Optometrist's Hymn: Open My Eyes That I Might See
  • The Politician's Hymn: Standing on the Promises
  • The Shopper's Hymn: Sweet Bye and Bye
  • The Tailor's Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy
  • The Tax Hymn: I Surrender All
  • The Weatherman’s Hymn: There Shall Be Showers of Blessings

Calne and Blackland

Party humour from the last-ever edition of Parish News

  • Everyone has a photographic memory; sadly, some don't have film.
  • Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • Blessed are those who laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused.
  • He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
  • No woman ever shot her husband while he was washing the dishes.

Codford/ Bishopstrow & Boreham

'Five Church Ladies...'
Codford's Revd Margaret Collins says: "4 LPAs and myself had a particularly "clunky" Zoom church meeting during which we managed to link up with a lady in her 80s who had not yet used Zoom, then we couldn't explain to her how to switch on her video. I later commented that it was like 'Ten Green Bottles' as one by one we kept losing people - but they did reappear! After the meeting, one member wrote this poem to the tune of Ten Green Bottles!"


Genuine notes left for milkmen

  • Dear milkman: I've just had a baby, please leave another one.
  • Cancel one pint after the day after today.
  • Please don't leave any more milk. All they do is drink it.
  • Please close the gate behind you because the birds keep pecking the tops of the milk.
  • Please cancel the milk. I have noting coming into the house except two sons on the dole.
  • Please bring me a form about cheap milk, as my boyfriend has made me stagnant.
  • Please do not leave milk at no.14 as he is dead until further notice.

Dilton Marsh with Brokerswood

People at my workplace have started a funny new tradition where they give names to the food in the office fridge. Today I ate a sandwich called Mark, followed by some cake called Rosie.

A devout farmer lost his Bible while he was out mending fences. A few days later, a cow walked up carrying the Bible in its mouth. The farmer couldn't believe his eyes. He took the book out of the cow's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward, and exclaimed: "It's a miracle!"
"Not really," said the cow. "Your name was written inside the cover.”

Smile Lines from Dorchester

During a game, the coach asked one of his young players: "Do you understand
what cooperation is? What a team is?" The little boy nodded yes. "Do you understand that what matters is winning together as a team?" The little boy nodded yes. "So," the coach continued, "when a strike is called, or you are out at first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?" Again, the boy nodded yes.
"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain it to your mother."

The church children had been grouped together around the minister to pose for the annual Sunday School photograph, and the minister was smiling encouragement.
"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up,” he said. “You could point to each other and say: 'There's Jennifer; hope she’s made it as a solicitor,' or 'That's Michael, hope he’s made it as a doctor.'"
A small voice at the back rang out,
"And there's the minister – hope he made it to heaven...”

A client brought a litter of Golden Retriever puppies to the local veterinary clinic for inoculations and worming. As the look-alike pups tumbled over and under one another in their box, the experienced vet realised it would be difficult to tell which had been treated and which hadn't. So, the vet turned on the water tap, wet her fingers and gently moistened each dog's head as she finished giving it the necessary shots.
After the fourth puppy, the vet noticed her hitherto talkative client had grown silent and was looking rather reverent. As the animal doctor sprinkled the last pup's head, the owner leaned forward and whispered, "Thank you so much. I hadn’t realised you baptised them, too.”

A teacher posed the following problem to one of her maths classes: "A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million pounds. One-fifth is to go to his wife, one-fifth is to go to his son, one-sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now, what does each get?"
After a very long silence in the classroom, one little boy raised his hand. With complete sincerity, he ventured, "A solicitor?"

I asked my mother if I was a gifted child. She said I must be, because they certainly wouldn't have paid for me.

How to stay safe this June:

  1. Avoid riding in automobiles. They are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents.
  2. Do not stay home. 17% of all accidents occur in the home.
  3. Avoid walking on streets or pavements. 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.
  4. Avoid traveling by air, rail, or water. 16% of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.
  5. Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in hospitals. So, above all else, avoid hospitals.


  • You will be pleased to learn that only 0.001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders. Therefore, logic tells us that the safest place for you to be at any given point in time is at church!

Finally, a man had his second dose of vaccine at the vaccination centre. Shortly afterwards, he began to have blurred vision and struggled to get home. He rang the vaccination centre and asked if he should go straight to the hospital for help. He was told not to go to the hospital, but instead to return at once to the vaccination centre and pick up his glasses...


Genuine notes left for milkmen, part 2

  • My daughter says she wants a milkshake. Do you do this before you deliver, or do I have to shake it at my end?
  • Please send me a form for cheap milk, as I have a baby more than two months old and did not know about it until a neighbour told me.
  • Sorry not to have paid your bill before, but my wife had a baby and I've been carrying it around in my pocket for weeks.
  • Milk is needed for the baby. Father is unable to supply it.
  • Please leave no milk today. When I say today I mean tomorrow, as I wrote this note yesterday.


A woman in a supermarket followed a grandfather and his badly-behaved grandson. The boy kept throwing tantrums, screaming and demanding sweets. The grandfather kept saying, "Easy William, not long till we get to the till."
Once they got to the checkout, the boy saw sweets again and screamed even louder, throwing items out of the trolley and embarrassing the grandfather, who said, "Hang in there, William: just a couple of minutes and we'll be out of here."
Once outside, the woman congratulated the grandfather on remaining calm and said, "William is very lucky to have you as his grandfather."
"Thank you," said the old man wearily, "But my name is William. The brat is called Kevin."

Gillingham & Milton-on-Stour

I asked to borrow a newspaper while I was visiting my son.
"Dad," he smiled, "It's the 21st century- I haven't bought a newspaper for ages. Here's my iPad."
Tell you what, that fly never knew what hit it!

Ludgershall & Faberstown

A certain bishop was fond of using Bible quotations at functions.
He arrived to open a new maternity home and the organisers thought, "We've got him stumped this time!" However, after some suitable remarks, the bishop smiled and said, "I know you're waiting for the quotation, so here it is.
"We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed!""


Typo negative
A local newspaper once described a policeman as a "defective inspector." After a vehement complaint, the newspaper printed a correction which ended, "We extend our apologies to him and to the rest of the local police farce."

If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.
[Is there a female version of this one? - Ed.]


The Haircut
A teenager had just passed his driving test and wanted to use the car.
"Bring your grade average up from a C to a B," smiled his father, "Do some Bible study and get your hair cut. Then we'll talk about it."
The son agreed. Six weeks later, his grades were up and he'd done some Bible study. However...
"I'm disappointed that you didn't get your hair cut," the father said.
The son replied, "I've been studying Samson, John the Baptist and Moses, and they all had long hair. There's even some evidence that Jesus had long hair."
"Ah yes," said his father, "But did you also notice that they walked everywhere?"

Grandparents’ Answering Machine
Hello. We can’t get to the phone now, but please leave a message after the tone.
- 'beep' -

  • If you are one of our children, dial 1 and select ‘birth arrival’ option 1 to 5, so we know who you are.
  • For child-minding services, press 2.
  • To borrow the car, press 3.
  • For having clothes washed and ironed, press 4.
  • For grandchildren’s overnight accommodation, press 5.
  • For school taxi service, press 6.
  • For emergency catering, press 7.
  • To book a mealtime at our house, press 8.
  • For emergency finance, press 9.
  • If you are inviting us to dinner or taking us to the theatre, start talking- we’re listening!


Merry Lockdown Christmas, and a Happy Lockdown New YearThere are several pages of downloadable humour and cartoons in each case. 


A gynaecologist changed career to become a mechanic.
She studied hard for the practical exam and gained a mark of 150%. Doing a double-take, she asked her instructor how this had happened.
The instructor replied, “You took the engine apart perfectly - 50% of the mark. You reassembled it perfectly - again, 50% of the mark.
"I gave you an extra 50% for doing it all through the exhaust pipe - something I’ve never seen in my entire life!”

An elderly man finally got a hearing aid that worked, after a number of previous aids had failed. A month later, his doctor rang to check how it was going.
“Your family must be pleased you can hear again,” he said.
“Oh no,” the man replied, “I haven’t told them yet - I enjoy listening to the conversations too much. I’ve changed my will three times already!”

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