The Pastoral Advisory Group was set up by a commission of both Archbishops in late 2017 with the task of advising local churches on pastoral guidance in relation to LGBTI+ people in the context of the Church’s current teaching. The diverse group comprises ten members, men and women who are clergy and lay people from a breadth of Church traditions and whose lives embody different positions on how to respond to same sex attraction.
The Pastoral Principles are a set of six prompts which invite church communities to consider and discuss their life together as a diverse community. The resources focus on LGBTI+ issues but apply to wider issues of diversity. They have been commended by the House of Bishops. The Group hopes that the Pastoral Principles will be used by clergy and laity with responsibility for welcome and pastoral care in the Church, and as a resource for study groups.
Commenting on the launch, Bishop Christine Hardman of Newcastle said ‘As communities of Christians we are held together in the love of Christ. Our many differences are gifts that can build us up in trust and mutual affection. LGBTI+ people in our churches have not always experienced this unconditional love of Christ and we need to admit and address this reality’.