A church has celebrated its 150th anniversary with a celebratory tea party.

Celebrations were held at St Mary's Church in Loughton on June 4 with Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing among those in attendance.

Vicar Rev'd Malcolm Macdonald said: "It is amazing to celebrate 150 years of St Mary’s at the heart of Loughton. As a church family we have always loved Loughton. We exist to share the good news of Jesus with our community."

Dame Eleanor met Tom Gilbert, who know lives in Great Yarmouth, who was baptised at the church in 1934 and sang in the choir in 1942, along with other members of the church community.

Dame Eleanor said: "St Mary's, given its location in Loughton High Road, really is at the heart of the community, but its message and place in Loughton stretches much further than just the High Road.

"My congratulations to everyone involved with the church and my best wishes for the next 150 years."

The church held a cream tea party on Saturday and next Sunday (June 12) will be holding three ‘Open Church’ Sunday services - at 8.45am, 10.30am and 5pm.