A Da Vinci Code-style quest about the history of a Worcestershire church remains unsolved – 10 years after it was first set.

The Claines Millennium Quest was created to mark the year 2000 and organisers expected it to be cracked in the same year.

However, a decade on, the trail appears to have run cold and, although some of the original questors are battling on, many have given up and others have died without ever knowing the answers.

Now Geoff Sansome, who set the 20 tasks based on the history and symbols of St John Baptist Church and the parish, has appealed for more people to take up the challenge.

The quest is similar of the journey undertaken in bestselling book The Da Vinci Code, although the novel was not written until 2003.

It was devised to teach people more about the history of the church and village and offers a prize of a framed watercolour of Claines Church.

Mr Sansome, who has no previous quiz-setting experience, said: “There were a lot who started it and I know some have got to 10 or 12 but then they are other clues they just can’t get their head around. A few continue to slog on.

“I really did think it would be solved in the year 2000.”

Mr Sansome, aged 48, from Claines, said he devised the quest while travelling a lot in the run-up to the turn of the millennium and so far around 40 questors had pitted their wits against him.

One of them was Russell Allen, manager of the Mug House pub, who took up the challenge in 2001 and has so far solved 11 tasks.

Mr Allen, 42, said: “When I first started, I had hair down to my shoulders but now I haven’t got any at all. It’s annoying because you know the answer is there but you just can’t think what it is.

“Probably in another ten years I might finish it. Maybe we should all put our heads together and see what we can come up with.”

The quest is made up of 20 tasks, each of which leads to an object. Each is made up of a series of clues that contribute to the single answer, which should be entered into the final worksheet.

To complete the quest, participants must visit both the inside and outside the church at different times of the day, use books commonly found in a church and talk to local people. Questors need not move anything or disturb anything or anyone and there is no hidden treasure.

Anyone wanting to take up the challenge, which costs £5 plus £1 postage, should visit clainesfriends.org.uk/quest.