A church’s prayers to fix its rickety roof may have been answered generously, as its communion chalice has been found to be a rare medieval artefact worth some £2 million ($3.16 million), British media reported.
The small village church in England had been trying to raise money for roof repairs when the discovery was made as the chalice was valued for the first time. The specimen, which dates back to the 1400s, is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind anywhere in the world, one expert told the Telegraph newspaper.
The chalice had been used by countless generations of unsuspecting worshipers at St Cyriac's Church in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, before being loaned to the British Museum to be exhibited in the 1960s, reports said.
The Church has held meetings with its local residents to talk through whether to sell the chalice and what the money would be used for, according to the Telegraph. It could be used to fund a £350,000 roof-restoration project, with the remaining cash going to an investment trust for the village, the report said.
"We will look at people's opinions and decide what to do next," St Cyriac's vicar, Rev Sally Wheeler, told the Telegraph paper.
The cup, which is only a few inches high, was given to the church by an unknown benefactor around 400 years ago, but had never before been valued, the Telegraph said.
The British museum is now interested in buying the piece, the reports said.