Christmas tree lighting services at St Mary's Church in Saffron Walden raised more than £1,000 for the mayor's chosen charities.

Two lighting of the Christmas tree services were held at the church on Christmas Eve, which together raised £1,386 including gift aid.

The collections will be shared between Mayor of Saffron Walden Cllr James de Vries' chosen charities, which are Uttlesford Citizens Advice Bureau, Support for Sight, and Accuro - which supports people with disabilities in West Essex.

Mayor Cllr James de Vries said: "Thank you so much to all who attended, these donations really do make a big difference to those in need!

A special thanks and well done to all the little angels and shepherds who attended as well."

The church warden, Gill Caswell, also thanked people in the congregation who brought presents to the service, which were donated to children at an Essex refuge for women.

St Mary's Church is part of the Saffron Walden and Villages Team Ministry of 12 churches. It also has two 'daughter' churches - St James' in Sewards End and St John's in Little Walden.

The church is one of the largest parish churches in Essex, and the building dates mainly from the 15th century.