UK World Politics Church More Alamy Labrador sniffs out 'Easter miracle' discovery as he unearths precious stolen silverware

A Labrador has brought joy to a church in Keswick after sniffing out precious silverware feared to have been gone for good.

The chalices and plates were stolen from St John's Church in Keswick during a raid in February, but some of the items never made it far from their home.

Mick – a lovable "old" dog - unearthed some of the missing items during a satisfying sniff of the churchyard whilst on a walk over the Easter weekend.

Posting on Facebook, Rev Charles Hope said: "An Easter miracle? A neighbour's dog rooting in the churchyard undergrowth found some of our stolen silverware.

"Not, of course, the more valuable pieces but wonderful to have our silver back in time for Eucharist. Thanks to our vigilant neighbour and inquisitive dog."

A plastic bag, unearthed by Mick's exhaustive efforts and stellar olfactory senses, contained around a quarter of the missing silverware.

When the items were taken, the church was forced to rely on neighbouring parishes in order to provide Holy Communion.

The thieves also made off with around £1,200. The doors of the vestry were bashed in and cupboards were ripped apart.

At the time, Rev Hope called for the thieves to "examine their conscience" and return the "historic" silverware.