The Church of England has urged congregations to take the necessary precautions required to protect themselves from Covid-19.
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said churches must be careful not to perpetuate the spread of the virus at a time when many are getting together with family and loved ones.
"We are looking forward to welcoming linked Christmas households into our church services and are glad that families can spend time together as we celebrate the birth of Jesus," she said.
“I want to echo warnings of the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer that in coming together, especially at home, we do everything possible not to put those who are most vulnerable at risk, limiting travel and contact with others outside our households as far as possible."
Mullally, who leads the C of E's Recovery Group, said that cathedrals and parishes have "already done a magnificent job of creating Covid-safe environments" and that she was "extremely grateful for all they have done throughout the year".
She added that "coming together as worshiping communities both in person and online will bring comfort and joy to millions over the Christmas period", but that we must remain alert to the ever-present threat of the virus and do everything in our power to mitigate its spread.
“It is vital that we keep our focus on caring for one another," she said, "with greater numbers it will be important that all of us attending church services meet in a spirit of patience and goodwill, to ensure the safest environment possible for all.”
The Church of England's full guidance on Christmas services can be found here.