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Group to advise House of Bishops on 2005 Pastoral Statement announced

The House of Bishops has announced the membership of a Group established to advise it on reviewing its Pastoral Statement issued prior to the introduction of civil partnerships in December 2005. The Group will be chaired by the Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Rt Rev Robert Paterson. The other two members of the Group are the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, and the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Rev Colin Fletcher. The Group will start work in December and report to the House in time for the House to reach conclusions during 2012.

The preparation of the pastoral statement was the last occasion when the House of Bishops devoted substantial time to the issue of same sex relationships. The House undertook to keep that Pastoral Statement under review and announced in July, this year, http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1289380/gsmisc997.pdf , that the time had come for a review to take place.  

The House of Bishops also announced in July further work on the Church of England's approach to human sexuality more generally.  The expectation is that the membership of that Group, whose work will be considered by the House during 2013, will be announced in the next few weeks.