Sussex bride's ring stolen from church as she said vows

Caroline Marshall and James Granshaw on their wedding day Image copyright PA
Image caption The couple realised the ring was missing after the service

A bride was "heartbroken" after her engagement ring was stolen from the church where she was getting married.

A handbag containing the sapphire and diamond-encrusted platinum ring was taken in West Sussex as Caroline Marshall, 32, and James Granshaw, 29, said their vows.

Family members said the bride was left in tears when she realised her ring was missing on Saturday.

They said the £6,000 ring has "priceless" sentimental value.

Mr Granshaw, a qualified barrister and legal adviser at Waverley Borough Council in Surrey, worked with ethical jewellers to design the ring.

'Just despair'

After getting engaged in Switzerland in 2012, the wedding was held at the parish church of St Peter ad Vincula in Wisborough Green, West Sussex on Saturday.

Before the ceremony was due to start the bride, who works for an investment firm in the City of London, realised she still had her engagement ring on.

She gave the ring and her mobile phone to her bridesmaid, who put it in her handbag, which was then stolen.

After the service, the couple realised the ring was missing and police were called.

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Media captionThe £6,000 ring has "priceless" sentimental value

Mr Granshaw's father Mervyn, a retired airline pilot from Guildford, said: "It is just appalling to do this to a bride on her wedding day.

"This was not a drive-by or a walk-by theft, someone has walked up to the church and targeted it. I just despair.

"To steal a bride's engagement ring from a church - how low can you go?"

The family are urging anyone with information to get in touch.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "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 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."

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