Role and duties of the Lord Mayor

Role and duties of the Lord Mayor

Role of the Lord Mayor, how they’re elected and contacting their office.

What the Lord Mayor is

The Lord Mayor must be a serving councillor. Each of Bristol’s political groups take turns in holding the position.

There’s been a Lord Mayor since 1899  following Queen Victoria's decision to grant Bristol this privilege.

The Lord Mayor is a different role to the elected Mayor of Bristol.

The Lord Mayor:

  • is the first Citizen of the City and County of Bristol and is elected by other councillors unlike the Mayor who’s elected directly by the citizens of Bristol
  • serves a one year term, the Mayor of Bristol serves for four years
  • role is mostly ceremonial but they also chair meetings such as  the full council meeting
  • normally becomes Deputy Lord Mayor when their term is over 

Learn more about the History of the Lord Mayor

What the Lord Mayor does

As First Citizen of Bristol the Lord Mayor carries out around 800 engagements a year;  from major civic events such as  the annual Remembrance Sunday parade and service to meeting, supporting and connecting local communities and organisations.  The role has strong links with faith groups, the armed forces, schools and universities. 

Every year, the Lord Mayor's Christmas Appeal for Children helps hundreds of children in Bristol with vouchers for food, toys and clothing. The appeal is run by Rotary, Round Table and Lions Clubs with the Lord Mayor as the appeal's patron.

Check the Lord Mayor’s diary page if you’d like to find out about the Lord Mayor’s upcoming public engagements or invite the Lord Mayor to attend an event you are planning.

Electing the Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor is elected annually in May at a ‘mayor-making’ ceremony when all councillors meet and vote at the Annual Council Meeting. 

Bristol’s political groups take it in turns each year to fill the position.

Their term begins immediately after the ceremony.

There’s no limit for how many times somebody may serve as the Lord Mayor of Bristol.

Contact the Lord Mayor's office

For all enquiries email or use our Invite the Lord Mayor to an event form.