Waitrose has appointed the Bishop of Liverpool to chair a new advisory group on its CSR activities.

The Rt Rev James Jones – who as chairman of the Hillsborough Independent Panel was instrumental in revealing the cover-up of the police failings during the 1989 disaster – is set to retire from the church in August, on his 65th birthday.

At Waitrose, the bishop will chair a new group of external experts set up to advise and support the supermarket’s internal CSR team.

He is well known as a hands-on champion for urban regeneration and the environment.  In 2011 he chaired the independent forestry panel, which helped dissuade the government from selling off publicly owned forests and woodlands.

Meanwhile, Waitrose gave a sneak preview of its Christmas range yesterday. As part of its push into gardening, Waitrose said it would be stocking Christmas trees for the first time.

It will also sell a party food range by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, a broader selection of English hams, and personalised hampers.