Archbishop Cushley has called for Catholic families to imitate the example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as Scotland moves towards a new year under the highest Covid restriction levels.

Speaking during his online Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family, he said: "Today we remember in these times how our usual freedoms have been much curtailed for the sake of the common good. And that has got us all thinking about our families.

"With the highest level of restrictions coming into place in Scotland as of Boxing Day, our visits to families and friends are now very much restricted.

"This means that we have had to treasure every opportunity we have had to be together with family and friends in the last few days, in a way that our generation anyway has never had to face. It’s a sobering lesson for sobering times.

"But I'm hopeful that many of you will turn it to account and will learn again to value the affection and closeness of those around us, the importance of patience, small gestures and giving way to others, of peace and harmony in the home.

"As we all know, these things are rarely achieved without some effort. But we have examples at hand to help us. As I said (during Mass) on Christmas Day, Joseph and Mary very obliged to go on a journey to Bethlehem in the middle of winter when she was heavily pregnant . They were alone, far from family and help, and stuck in a stable when Mary had to give birth.

"But their love for each other and for Jesus kept them going. They have always been an example of love and support for us too, but in the context of a Covid Christmas, their perseverance, forebearance and affection for each other is more eloquent to us than ever.

"Let's learn from their goodness and their love for each other as we move forward towards a new year."