A CHURCH in Cornwall that accused a bank of losing valuable silver belonging to the parish (News, 9 October) has confirmed that the items have been recovered.
The churchwarden of St Veep’s, Lostwithiel, Bernard Bonsey, said on Tuesday that, after nine months of searching, Lloyds Bank had found the historical artefacts, and that it will be returned to the St Austell branch this week.
A spokesperson for Lloyds Bank confirmed the news in a statement: “Following a thorough investigation into the location of the items stored by St Veep Church, we are pleased to confirm that the silverware has now been located and will be returned to the church as soon as possible.”
Mr Bonsey began his enquiries in April after the church decided to display the items — which included a silver chalice from the 16th century.
The plate, which had been bequeathed to the parish several centuries ago, includes a silver flagon and paten from the 18th century, and an “extremely rare” communion cup, dated 1579, worth an estimated £4000.
In October, after his numerous attempts to recover the treasures fizzled out, Mr Bonsey went public. “I have absolutely no doubt that this [progress] would not have happened had it not been for the publicity provided by the media,” he said this week.
Since then, Mr Bonsey said, senior staff at Lloyds had been providing “regular updates” in the hunt for the historic items, which had been deposited by the church ten years ago for safekeeping. He was told that the bank had been paying the security company G4S, who deposited the items, overtime to locate them.
Lloyds has offered a donation to the church in compensation.