Greggs has apologised to anyone offended by publicity for its first advent calendar which shows a sausage roll in a manger instead of the baby Jesus.

The company is enabling fans of its sweet and savoury treats to enjoy something different each day as they countdown to Christmas 2017.

Each door reveals a tear-off token that can be taken into Greggs’ shops and exchanged for items from the Christmas and wider menu, including the Festive Bake, flavoured lattes, sweet mince pie and a sausage roll.

On Christmas Eve, a £5 gift card sits behind door 24 – but some lucky customers will find a surprise £25 gift card.

A limited number of the calendars will go on sale in selected Greggs’ shops from Monday, November 20, until stocks last, priced at £24.

Among the publicity photos for the calendar are a Santa with pasty flakes on his beard, a Greggs shop in a snow globe and a steak bake on a festive table.

While the calendar has had a largely positive reaction, some people have been offended by the publicity surrounding it.

As a result a Greggs spokeswoman told The Northern Echo: "We’re really sorry to have caused any offence, this was never our intention.”

Greggs say the calendar is worth between £35 and £60, and the vouchers can be redeemed in shops from December 1 up to and including Christmas Eve. Gift cards are valid for up to 12 months.