A New York State church attempted a Guinness World Record by gathering hundreds of people to embrace each other in a hug relay.

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The Asbury First Methodist Church in Rochester said it was trying to "spread the love" Thursday night with an attempt to set a record for the world's longest hug relay.

"We were trying to think about what we could do in this divided world to bring people together and we thought, well what about literally bringing people together with a hug?" senior minister Stephen Cady told Spectrum News.

The church was aiming for 1,300 participants, but fell short of the goal.

"For me, the success of this event is not actually spreading the record. It's standing in a divided world and spreading the love," Cady said.