AROUND 80 children met Mary Poppins and Father Christmas when they went on a magical journey.

Etherley Methodist Church was transformed into an immersive set by Ferryhill-based arts company Enter CIC, whose performers staged a festive show based on the Disney classic on Saturday.

It was the sixth time the church has hosted the event which is as popular with grown-ups as children.

Marie Cadman, who organised the event with fellow church steward Glenys Egglestone and other volunteers, said: "Everyone stood back in amazement at the transformation of the church, to see Mary Poppins then Santa come down the chimney and the wonderful performances. It isn't just a show but an experience.

"This isn't just about fundraising, we see it as a social outreach and serve refreshments. Families enjoy it, local people who don't see each other that often catch up and some older people love to be part of the atmosphere."