Proceeds from two Christmas Eve services at Saffron Walden St Mary’s Parish Church have been donated to the mayor’s charity.

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For over 20 years St Mary’s has held the festive services, which include children giving Christmas presents to the town mayor and mayoress which are then given to a local women’s refuge.

Over 1,500 people attended the two services. Half of the collection, a cheque for £670, was presented by the Rector, Rev David Tomlinson, to Violet Ashford, chairman of Saffron Walden Opportunity Playgroup (SWOP).

The charity was selected by current Saffron Walden mayor, Cllr Keith Eden, as his chosen good cause for 2013/2014.

Cllr Eden said: “It was amazing and very moving to have over 1,500 in the church across the two services and to receive Christmas presents, beautifully wrapped and labelled by age and boy/girl carried to the front of the church from several hundred children.”

SWOP is a playgroup for children 0-5 years with special needs, their parents or carers and under school age siblings. The group meet every Wednesday morning in term time, from 10am-12pmm at the United Reformed Church Hall, Abbey Lane, Saffron Walden. For more details, visit swoplaygroup.org.uk.

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