THE amazing story of how a bag stuffed with thousands of pounds has been left hanging on a peg in a Brixham church since 2007 can now be revealed.
The owner of the £5,000 money had reported it stolen in good faith after it disappeared from her home six years ago.
But after it was handed in by the honest Brixham churchgoers, Karen Griggs admitted: "I feel so stupid! I must have left it in the church but obviously I didn't realise that, and I reported it stolen to the police. I thought it had been stolen from my home.
"It is crazy that I have got the money back after all this time.
"I can't believe that it's just been hanging on the same peg where I left it in the same holdall, with my bank cash card in it, exactly where I must have left it. It is an amazing story, but I feel embarrassed.
"I used to go into a lot of churches in Brixham to pray at the time and I don't even know which one found it.
"I would like to know so that I can give a donation to church funds to thanks them."
Karen's husband Nick said: "It's fantastic that this money has come to light now. It couldn't have come at a better time."
The couple are behind a planning application to build a development of five star eco-lodges of former Ministry of Defence land at Berry Head.
Nick said: "The money will be used for the extra work we have had to do for our planning application."
After the money was found puzzled police said it was a 'one in a million' incident.
The bundles of £20 notes were in a holdall which had been hanging on the peg untouched. The money was so old that the notes were out-of-date and had to be replaced by the Bank of England.
PC Tim Perrin of Brixham police said: "The church couldn't say how long it had been there before they looked inside and found all these bundles of £20 notes.
"A very nice lady from the church came and handed it in to Brixham police station.
"We did some research and discovered that it had been reported stolen in 2007 from a Brixham home.
"In all my experience as a policeman this is a one in a million. It is very strange. A cash card was still with it and that's how we traced it back.
"The people at the church are very modest about what they did in returning it and don't want any publicity. The owner wanted to thank them for their honesty but they want to remain anonymous."