Chalfont St Giles secured its image as a quintessential English village when the Christmas lights were switched on at the weekend.

On Saturday all parts of the village from church to school to pub took part in the switch on of the lights and carol singing on the village green.

Chalfont St Giles Infant School paraded to the green at 5.30pm with lanterns and were joined by the junior school. Both schools sang a song before the official carol service began.

The carol service is normally led by the parish church reverend Tim Stacey, who this year had lost his voice and villager Lisa Hill stepped in at the last minute.

Mr Stacey said: "It was lovely, everybody joined in and there must have been about 200 people singing. It is a wonderful community event."

The Reverend Ian Thorpe from The Rock church did a reading before the children counted down to the light switch on and the arrival of Father Christmas.

There were a number of charity stalls around the village green and a merry-go-round for the children.

The event is organised by The Rock church and Chalfont St Giles revitalisation group.

Kathleen Martin, from the revitalisation group, said: "It was great fun. It is a very traditional event and people look forward to it every year. All our lights were new this year."

On Sunday the parish church celebrated 400 years since the birth of John Milton with a choral service.

Honoured guests included the Right Reverend Lord Richard Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford and Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

St Paul's school attended with a choir and string orchestra.

Mr Stacey said: "It really was a very special evening."

For more pictures see this Thursday's Buckinghamshire Advertiser out on December 11.

For more Chalfont St Giles news click here .