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When church goes wrong
Ever wondered why the badly-driven car in front is sporting a bumper sticker reading, "Where will you spend eternity: smoking or non-smoking?" Ever snorted out loud during prayers as you read in the service sheet, "The Lord made all breasts, great and small"?
Welcome to Signs and Blunders, where our readers share their brightest and best moments of church signboards, car bumper stickers and slips of the tongue in church services which would make Freud feel proud.
 
 
signs and blunders
Church sign which reads We love hurting people
2 August 2013 – This is great news for masochists looking for a new place to worship. And also good news for anyone with a sense of irony. But maybe less good news for Newbegun United Methodist Church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, for whom double entendre is just a mystifying French term.
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9 December 2012 – The Hills Uniting Church in Brisbane, Australia, were singing "O Come, O Come, Immanuel" the other day and all was going fine until verse 2 appeared on the screen. The second line...

And save us all from Santa's tyranny.

Jennifer Claydon tells us, "Some found it a bit hard to continue singing."
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Church sign reading: God's love in unconditional as long as you are obeying Christ
5 October 2012 – Anyone spot the logical hiccup here?
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Photo of the Jesus Daily dog on wheels
4 October 2012 – It defies the imagination that 186,222 people have liked the latest nonsense posted by Jesus Daily, the saccharine Facebook page worth watching for irony value alone. "How does he turn around?" asks one of the more legible comments posted under the pic. We're waiting for Jesus Daily to respond with, "All things are possible with Dog."
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18 July 2012 – Grailseeker writes with news of First Baptist, Bastrop, Texas...

Our choir director tried to tell us to "grab a breath at the rest." What came out was "grab a breast." It took him about half an hour to finish the thought while we all convulsed with laughter.
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touching ladies for christ
23 June 2012 – This... er... inspirational event advertised on the Christ Embassy Peckham website leaves us wondering if any Christian young men might be attending for all the wrong reasons.
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milton anglican church signboard
31 May 2012 – The Vapour kindly shared this deep and profound (in a "what the hell are they getting at?" sort of way) message found on the signboard of Milton Anglican Church, New South Wales.
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6 Dec 2011 – Fr Ainsley Swift of St Agnes, Windsor, UK, writes...

When arriving at my first Candlemass celebration in a new parish that was "higher" than I was used to I wanted to impress. I produced a special order of service with a beautiful graphic of lighted candles and the text "A light to lighten the Gentiles..." Unfortunately, I misspelled "Gentiles" and the auto-correct produced...

A light to lighten the Genitals...
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jesus... knot
11 Nov 2011 – A man in Cleveland, Texas, found a picture of Jesus in a knot of wood when he was sawing timber for picnic tables. However, a team of top theologians has now determined that the knot is not an image of the Saviour, but of Karl Marx. "It's the tangled beard that gives it away," said one of the team. "It's obviously an atheistical knot."
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autographed bible
Thanks be unto @philpeace who spotted this very special copy of the Bible on sale in one of the UK's WH Smith shops.
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church sign which reads: you can Google earth but the window on heaven is opened by Jesus
Comet alerted us to this uplifting church noticeboard, said to be from Bethel Lutheran Church, Willowick, Ohio.
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Revd Lindsay Dew of St Mary Magdalene, Dunton, Bedforshire, writes: It's confession time. While preaching I used the description of evangelism as being...

One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread...

... but I inadvertently used the word "bugger" instead. There was a short pause and then fits of laughter by the whole congregation.
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healing services picture
"Entirley innocent, I'm sure," says Anonymous, who pointed us to the above page heading on the Burrswood website. Marvin Gaye would be proud.
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Jonathan Hill brings us news of worship at Stoke Minster, Stoke-on-Trent, England. He says: I was playing the organ at evening prayer. The non-stipendiary curate was taking the service, and, getting a little flustered, announced...

We now say together the New Testament testicle.
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devil is of the islam
Ray Jones (no relation) found this picture of Pastor Jones of Gainesville, Florida, who burned a Qur'an last month. Nice to see that his message is just as idiotic the other way round.
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church sign which reads: you can Google earth but the window on heaven is opened by Jesus
Nick O'Demus spotted this meaningless juxtaposition in day-glo orange outside Northgate Methodist in Warwick, UK.
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happy Jesus
Lisa Schwartz writes to say: This photo was taken in the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. I was there for an event and was startled as I noticed how... um... appreciative Jesus was of the speaker. Or maybe he was just happy to see us. In any event, it brings new meaning to the phrase, "He is risen, indeed!"
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J John breakfast for men
Daniel Godwin pointed us to the notice above which is on the Parish of Great Chesham (Bucks, UK) website. It's rare to see such naked honesty on a church website, so full marks to them.
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First Baptist Church Poughkeepsie
An appeal spotted outside First Baptist, Poughkeepsie, New York.
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WTF albuquerque
As everyone knows, WTF is known all across the Internet as standing for Worship, Teaching, Friends, isn't it? And yet inexplicably, the picture above went viral on Twitter with people posting strange comments about it. I mean, WTF is with that? Congrats anyway to the Christian students of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where the banners appeared.
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Crucifer writes: I drive past this church every day and I just noticed this sign. Calvary Temple is one of the largest Pentecostal churches in western Canada, located in downtown Winnipeg and is televised weekly in the Winnipeg Market.
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From Reverend Blue Jeans: When baptising a baby and struggling to balance his order of service on the alter as he did so, our minister at St Paul's United Reform Church in Bracknell, England, got his words embarassingly twisted, and announced that...

Jesus was baptised by Jordan in the John.

It was difficult to keep a straight face as 90 per cent of the male congregation suddenly "stood to attention", so to speak, while picturing this scenario! (For those who don't know, Jordan was a famous topless model in the UK.)
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John Cook saw this sign outside the Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. "This sign says it all, I think," he says.
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Jane sent us the following extract from her UK church's notice sheet. It's a lesson in checking where the sentence breaks...
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Fr George Mainprize of Newcastle, Australia, laments: I trusted too much to spellcheck on the computer when I was compiling a marriage service. It doesn't pick up when the "i" is left out of "Louise". We were still hurriedly adding the missing letter as Louse arrived at the church.

My embarassment was compounded when I offered my Prayer Book to receive the rings, turned to place them on the altar to bless them, and they fell to the floor. Someone, in a traditional Australian manner, called "heads" and the video camera caught me saying something like "amen".
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Paul Hart saith: Aidan of Lindisfarne seems to be making a slightly unsaintly gesture in this tapestry in Lancaster Priory, Lancaster, England.
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Samantha Horrocks brings new of St Andrew's in Norfolk, England: Our bulletin this week announced the latest sale at the parish gift shop...

Mirrors & wall plagues 50% off.

She says: Can't say I've ever thought of hanging a plague on the wall, but I suppose they do make a good gift for the special people in one's life.
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A thousand blessings be upon Tim Cole, who saw this outside a church in Middletown, Ohio, USA.
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Writes Tina Rees: I am the Assistant Pastor at a United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. One communion Sunday, the senior pastor got up to invite everyone to the communion table, and after issuing the most eloquent, moving invitation, he gestured to the table and said...

Please come. The communion elephants are on the table and the Lord invites you.

Says Tina: There was a muffled round of snickers, but no one said a word until after the service.
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Lovely to see the church threatening the "violators"... just like it did in the good old days. Sam saw and photographed this sign outside Downtown Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.
 
Your stories and pictures
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