A bride’s one of a kind engagement ring worth £6,000 was stolen from a Wisborough Green church on her wedding day on Saturday (June7).
While Caroline Marshall, 32, and James Granshaw, 29, wed at St Peter ad Vincula, off Billingshurst Road, a bridesmaid’s bag containing Caroline’s sapphire and diamond-encrusted platinum band was stolen.
Family members were able to track an iPhone that was also inside the stolen bag, and noted the phone was in Haywards Heath and then Brighton before its battery ran out.
James’ father Mervyn Granshaw said: “The chief bridesmaid was in pieces, the bride was in pieces and the groom was trying to comfort them all.
“Frankly it was very upsetting. We tried not to let it cast a shadow over the day, and the wedding itself was terrific, but it did cast a terrific shadow.
“How low do you want to go?”
James helped to design the engagement ring at a London jewellers, after requesting no ‘blood diamonds’ would be used in the process.
The Godalming couple became engaged in 2012 when James proposed to Caroline while the couple enjoyed a skiing break in Switzerland.
Mervyn described the ring as ‘beautiful’ and the increasingly tense atmosphere at the wedding once it was established it was missing.
He said: “Over the period of an hour it went from ‘it will be okay’ to a disaster.
“We tried to continue to run the wedding and at the same time we tried to address the fact that we needed to find the ring.”
Mervyn also issued a heartfelt plea to anybody who may have any information to contact the police.
He said: “Somebody has it somewhere. We want it back on any terms.”
The family has launched a Facebook page ‘Help Us Find The Ring’ as well as the hashtag #carolinesring on Twitter.
A Sussex Police spokesperson said the theft of the bag, a black L.K. Bennett handbag with a gold clasp, occurred between 2.30pm and 3pm.
The spokesman said: “We have searched the grounds of the church but have found no trace of the bag or any of its contents.
“We have been able to trace the movement of the iPhone’s signal to the centre of Brighton but do not know where it or the ring have ended up.
“The ring is very distinctive so we hope that if someone is offered the chance to buy it in particular they will recognise it as stolen.
“The memory of the theft will scar the bride’s wedding day so we want to at least partially rectify this by reuniting her with her engagement ring.”
Police have appealed for witnesses. Anyone with information can contact police by calling 101 quoting serial 1265 of 7/6, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.