Rev Simon Ward misplaced the ball in 1979 while playing with it in the garden of the rectory where he lived with his family.
When he moved away, he asked the new occupants to keep an eye out for it.
The cricket ball, which he bought with his pocket money, resurfaced near the Norfolk home in an old neighbour’s pond.
The recently installed team rector at Great Yarmouth told Great Yarmouth Mercury: “I don’t think we even got to the first over before it got hit into the undergrowth never to be seen again. I cried my eyes out.”
He added that there was a biblical connection of lost things being found, such as the parable of the lost sheep or lost coins and joked: “Now we might be able to add the lost cricket ball.”
The former shiny red ball was discovered by Rosie Bunn – the current rector of the All Saints Church, at the rectory in Belton, Norfolk, as work was being done on what is believed to be an early Victorian bathing pond. It was recovered from a muddy bank.
Rev Ward lived at the village rectory as a child when his father, Canon Leslie, was rector at Belton and Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth.
He told the Mail Online: “It was one of those curious things. It’s (the ball) is now a shrivelled husk of its former glory. It’s not the red shiny ball I fell in love with. But it was charming to discover it.”
Bunn explained: ‘When we moved in, Simon told us he lost a cricket ball.
“He asked us six years ago, as an adult, 34 years after he lost it, but we’ve spoken about the ball a number of times.
“I saw him on Friday, the day before we found it, and we talked about it.”
Speaking about receiving his beloved cricket ball, Rev Ward added: “We are calling it the curious incident of the cricket ball in the pond.
“We had a laugh about it, I remembered the bible passage ‘I was lost and then I was found’.”
A Vicar is giving thanks after being reunited with his old cricket ball 38 years after he lost it as a seven-year-old.
Big Breakfast Here’s a snippet of Craig Wakeling is joined by CEO Warren Evans from Sports Chaplaincy UK as they share their 25 years’ experience of doing just that! See more of their work here: https://sportschaplaincy.org.uk