A church which has embraced a Christmas French tradition for years now has an impressive 12-metre display after adding more artefacts to it.

Maryse Gooderson, from Normandy, said it was always a strong tradition in her French home to have a "Christmas village" and she has kept this up and marrying her English husband Philip, who she now lives with in Radcliffe.

Seven years ago she mentioned the idea of having such a display at St Thomas and St John with St Philip's Church on New Church Street and it has gone from strength to strength.

Bury Times: The 'Christmas village'The 'Christmas village' (Image: Maryse Gooderson)

Maryse said: “With the encouragement of our then vicar (Reverend Elizabeth Binns) a few buildings were displayed in church back in December 2016, starting of course with the stable.

“There are new additions every year and the display now occupies nearly 12 metres in length.”

The village depicts a village in the style of 19th century Provence in France which Maryse says is the area where the tradition of a Christmas village is strongest and has been for centuries, adapted from the first nativities in Italy.

She said: “Some buildings are pure creations of my own imagination, but a few, such as the church, the lighthouse and the café, are genuine representations of buildings which can be seen in Provence still today.”

Bury Times: The 'Christmas village'The 'Christmas village' (Image: Maryse Gooderson)

Maryse added: “I always marvel at the Christmas villages displayed in garden centres but I feel they lack the true meaning of Christmas, which I find has become far too commercialised in our materialistic society.”

All the building are made from scratch by Maryse using, polystyrene, plaster of Paris and wood as well as each building being fully electrified with miniature lights.

Maryse is also in charge of the church's organ restoration project and hopes that by attracting people money can be raised.

The "Christmas village" will be able to be seen on Saturday between 10.30am and 12.30pm lunchtime as well as after services on Sunday.