A TIME capsule dating back nearly 150 years was discovered this week at a Malvern church.

The capsule was found on Monday by workers at Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2016.

Stonemasons Rowan McKay and James Robinson, of Stonemasons of Worcester, were replacing the worn foundation stone with a newly-carved replica when they discovered the capsule behind it.

The broken glass jar had been sealed with a cork and sealing-wax and contained a copy of The Watchman and Wesleyan Advertiser dated Thursday, July 27, 1865.

The newspaper carried an invitation to the laying of the corner stone of the new Wesleyan chapel to be built in Great Malvern.

Also inside the capsule was a penny, a halfpenny and a half-farthing, and some other papers which had deteriorated to the point of illegibility.

Rev Alison Richards, the church minister, said: "As soon as the stonemasons found it, they called Brian Edwards, the property steward, and he called me.

"It was a total surprise to most of us, although our treasurer Christopher Davis, had seen some indication in the Methodist archives that there was something behind the stone.

"The stonemasons wanted to get on with putting the new stone in place, so we didn't have much time, but we got a new container, put the contents of the bottle in it, and added some 2014 coins, a copy of the church magazine, the South West Worcestershire Methodist Circuit Plan and the new vision statement for the church." she said.

The new capsule was sealed away behind the replica stone by Mr Davis, whose family connection with the church dates back over 100 years, after an impromptu service.