The case of the boiling churchyard has been solved at Twineham, near Burgess Hill.
A deputy churchwarden spotted steam rising from the graveyard.
It was not the spirits getting hot under the collar but a power line running under the churchyard developing a fault and heating water in the soaked ground like an element.
Churchwarden Paul Webb said: “It developed a fault and basically it started heating up like a kettle.”
The annual carol service was called off and the local school had to move its own service to the school while engineers traced the problem and laid a new main in time for the Christmas period.