Mayor George Ferguson to give lecture on 'Upping Bristol's Game'
Bristol mayor George Ferguson will be giving a talk later this month on 'Upping Bristol's Game'.
He has been invited to give the inaugural lecture of the Canynges Society, a charity which raises money to fund the maintenance of St Mary Redcliffe Church.
Mr Ferguson, who is passionate about the city, said: "Bristol has failed to realise its full potential in my 47 years of living and working here.
"Our finest moment of modern times was when Bristol was beamed all over the world displaying some of our best characteristics during the 1996 Festival of the Sea.
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"This was followed by the nerve-racking sailing of the Matthew to Newfoundland to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Cabot's great voyage of discovery in 1497.
"Five-hundredth anniversaries of world-changing events do not come along too often but we do need to regenerate Bristol's pioneering spirit in other ways if we are to be able to claim that we are, as we should be, England's prime provincial city."
His lecture will be held at the church on Wednesday, January 16, starting at 7pm.
Admission is by ticket only which cost £12 each.
The lecture is the brainchild of Sara Hartnell, this year's president of the society which was set up in 1848 to commemorate William Canynges, the 15th century Bristol merchant whose generosity helped to fund a major reconstruction of the church after it was hit by lightning in 1446.
Mrs Hartnell and her husband, the late St John Hartnell, a former High Sheriff of Bristol, set up and ran the Bristol Society which, for 20 years – until hampered by a lack of funding from Bristol Chamber of Commerce – regularly brought top lecturers to local audiences. They ranged from a former Archbishop of Canterbury and an Arctic explorer to a Home Secretary and the Governor of the Bank of England.
Mrs Hartnell said: "The Bristol Society is now defunct but I am keen to reignite the interest Bristolians showed in speakers like these. I felt the link with The Canynges Society would mean that one of the city's architectural gems would benefit as well.
"The proceeds of ticket sales will be used by the society to fund on-going maintenance of St Mary Redcliffe Church, parts of which date back to the 12th century."
Mrs Hartnell hopes the lectures will become regular events on the Bristol calendar – but it will be for next year's president and his or her successors to decide whether to make them a tradition.
The lecture will be preceded by a drinks reception at 6.15 pm. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to put questions to Mr Ferguson.
Anyone interested in attending should send a stamped addressed envelope and cheque payable to The Canynges Society to St Mary Redcliffe Parish Office,12 Colston Parade, Bristol BS1 6RA. Alternatively email email@example.com or phone 0117 929 1487.