A church minister in Norfolk is facing a possible fine for dropping litter after he put Scriptural messages into bottles and threw them into the sea in an unusual attempt to spread the gospel to the far corners of the earth - or at least, other bits of Europe.
Reports in the Yorkshire Post and the London Metro newspapers indicate that, instead of drifting across the North Sea, as Pastor Leslie Potter had intended, the plastic bottles floated straight back to beaches in Norfolk - inadvertently causing an environmental hazard.
Late last month (October 2007) Pastor Potter was told that he faces a possible fine for littering the award-winning sands at Gorlestone.
Reporters say that angry local walkers have been obliged to pick up and recycle the "message in a bottle" remnants, which have had the effect of irritating them rather than drawing them to what mystics would call the effulgence of God's spleandour.
Pastor Potter, who lives in nearby Cobholm, said: "I'm sorry – they were supposed to end up in Holland, France and Germany."
It is not known whether he will appeal to the European Court. But at least the minister's "SOS to the world", unlike the famous song by rock group Police, has not quite resulted in "a hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore."
[With thanks to the vigilant Deirdre Good]