Archbishop Cushley has encouraged Catholics to use the Christmas Octave to celebrate the birth of Christ.

With parishes limited to a maximum capacity of 50, some will sadly not get to Mass on Christmas Day due to demand. However, Christmas is an eight day celebration in the Catholic Church - an 'octave'.

Archbishop Cushley said: “Parishes are doing their best to put on as many Masses as possible but I know that most Christmas Day and Vigil Masses were booked-up very quickly. I share people’s sense of frustration about this, but please do not turn up at a Mass unless you have booked a space.

“Happily, the Christmas octave gives us eight days in which to celebrate the birth of Christ. I encourage you to book a place for one of those days to make it a special time for you and your family.

"The Catholic Church continues celebrating Christmas right up until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on 10 January, hopefully giving people plenty of opportunities to attend a Mass for Christmas.

"Many Masses are being streamed online so you can join in as an act of spiritual communion. My Christmas Day Mass will be available on YouTube and Facebook at 9am.”

He added: “I also encourage Catholics, particularly families with young children, to find out if their parish is open for private prayer at any time during Christmastide, and to pray as a family at the crib in church."