THE Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Philip North, has warmly welcomed the first ever printed Advent Calendar to be produced by The Church of England.

Available to buy now via the ‘Church House Publishing’ website and on other sites like Amazon, the calendar offers a creative and interactive experience focused on the Nativity story.

Bishop North said: “At this time of year Advent calendars are very popular but very few are available that directly tell the important Christian story of Jesus’ birth, thereby helping people to discover, in fresh news ways, their place in the greatest story ever told. “So I am delighted to see this latest development from the national church and warmly welcome the decision to produce the calendar as Christmas has become increasingly commercialised in recent times.”

The calendar costs £3.99; or 10 for £35.

The Blackburn Diocese takes in a large part of the Ribble Valley.