And finally…penance to a pound

Police in Italy are looking for the source of more than £31,000 (€36,000) found inside a church confession booth, possibly from a repentant crook.

The sum comprised €50 notes stuffed inside two plastic bags and was found under the priest’s seat in the confessional in Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci church, near the Vatican.

Staff reported their find to the carabinieri who have now opened an investigation into the matter.

“There are some details that are raising doubts,” Lieutenant Salvatore Friano told the media.

“We can say that it is not fresh money. We’re also going to look at surveillance camera footage to try and find out whether this was a benefactor who wanted to donate this money to the church, or someone who wanted to get rid of it.”

Father Giovanni Martire Savina, who opened the bags, said: “Of course such a sum would be handy for the parish, but not to someone else’s detriment.”