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Cup of blessing

The surprise news of the month comes from West Mercia Police, who announced recently that officers have recovered the Holy Grail. This is to say that they have found the Nanteos Cup, a centuries old wooden relic believed by some to be the object of legend. It was stolen in a burglary last year. The cup, which was held for years at Nanteos House near Aberystwyth, first came to prominence in the Victorian era when it was put on display as part of an exhibition of local antiquities. The legend goes that it was brought to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea, and then taken to Nanteos by seven Welsh monks during the reformation. It then came into the ownership of the Steadman family, who kept it in a bank vault, occasionally lending it out to the sick to drink from in hope of miraculous healing it - was on loan to seriously ill woman in Herefordshire when it was taken. It has now been returned to its owners through an anonymous third party after an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme. Police said it had been handed over to officers 'on neutral ground' in a pre-arranged meeting last Friday. 'Some people may class it as the Holy Grail, but that's only speculation,' said the police spokesman. 'As far as the police are concerned this is a treasured object, and we are happy to have reunited it with its rightful owners. 'We take the theft of any item very seriously.'