British high street bakery Greggs has apologised for replacing Jesus with a sausage roll in a promotional image for the launch of its festive advent calendar.

The nativity scene shows three wise men surrounding a sausage roll in place of the baby Jesus.

Greggs announced the calendar earlier this month and claimed it would save purchasers £40 by providing a voucher every day during the Christmas season. They wrote:

"24 days of Greggs? Ho ho HECK YES. Pick up our advent calendar in selected shops from 20th Nov and countdown to the big day in style!"

However, the blasphemous pastry has caused genuine outrage on Twitter.

"Please boycott @GreggsOfficial to protest against its sick anti-Christian Advent Calendar. What cowards these people are: we all know that they would never dare insult other religions! They should donate every penny of their profits to @salvationarmyuk."

"Tbh I'm glad Christians kicked off and Greggs apologised for replacing Jesus with a sausage roll. No other religion would stand for that nonsense."

However, many Greggs customers saw the funny side of the ill-advised image.

One wrote on Twitter: "The fact that people are fuming cos Greggs replaced baby Jesus for a sausage roll in their advent calendar, just makes me love Greggs even more."

"Gutted about the Greggs story. Hoped they'd done an advent calendar where there's a sausage roll to eat every day."

"I don't know why Greggs are apologising. Best advent calendar ever", another wrote.

"I suspect the pastie connoisseurs knew exactly what they were doing," one wrote.

"I think they knew this reaction was coming. What do you think, Andrew? Some sausage roll nonsense followed by hysterical social and media reaction is certainly one way of hijacking the agenda at this time of year #Greggs #StormInATeaCup", said user Paul Widdop.