THOUSANDS of residents gathered to attend the returning favourite Torchlight Procession in Halstead.

The popular event saw many members of the community come together as the popular event returned after two years.

After being cancelled last year due to COVID, this was the first procession since 2019.

Many members of the community looked forward to its return and marked it with a fun and friendly festive event.

The procession was led down the High Street by the Deadwood drummers, and it made for a magnificent sight as is the same every year.

There were flamed torches for adults and laser sticks for the children.

The carol service was conducted in the Public Gardens after by the Halstead Churches Together, supported by the Salvation Army band and Halstead Choral.

Special guests Simon Brice, High Sheriff of Essex, Sue Wilson, Chairman of BDC and Sue Ayres, Mayor of Sudbury also joined in with the event.

Money was raised throughout the evening for the Mayor’s charity which is the Halstead Day Centre, which totalled just over £1,000.

Halstead Mayor Mick Radley praised the event after its returning success.

He said: “It was so good to be able to stage an event which involved so many people in the town and see them enjoying some freedom after many long months of restrictions.

“The organisation and running of this event involved many volunteers and organisations on the night and in the preparation.

“My thanks to all of them for their commitment and contribution for a great job well done.

“It was great that the Town Council were able to stage the Christmas lights switch on and torchlight celebrations this year and see so many people back enjoying the events after such a long period.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a merry and healthy Christmas – take care and enjoy the festive celebrations.”