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Bristol's Humanist
Lord Mayor

Cllr Paul Goggins - Bristols Lord Mayor and member of Bristol Humanists.

Bristol councillors elect the city’s first humanist Lord Mayor

9th May 2023

Today, Councillor Paul Goggin begins his term as Lord Mayor of Bristol. Humanists UK and Bristol Humanists welcome his election and believe he is the first Lord Mayor of Bristol to publicly declare at the time of taking office that he is a humanist.


Cllr Goggin joins other humanists in public life, such as Tommy Sheppard MP and Baroness Joan Bakewell, co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG), APPHG Treasurer Lord Dubs, Senedd member Julie Morgan MS, and London Assembly member Siân Berry. Other high profile Bristol figures include science broadcaster and Humanist UK Vice President, Alice Roberts.


According to the 2021 Census, Bristol has one of the highest non-religious populations in the UK with 51% ticking the ‘no religion’ box. However, even this number is likely to be underestimated. Cllr Goggin’s appointment is in step with the growing non-religious population and builds on recent recognition of the importance of humanism in Bristol. In February this year, a blue plaque was unveiled for local humanist hero Emma Martin, which is one stop along the Humanist Bristol Tour, a self-led walking tour on the Go Jauntily app, that tells the stories of humanists who shaped and were shaped by Bristol.


Chair of Bristol Humanists, Chrissie Hackett, said:


“Bristol Humanists are delighted to welcome the new ‘first citizen’ of Bristol, Cllr Paul Goggin, as a declared humanist. Bristol has one of the highest ‘non-religious’ adult populations in the country, and the fact that Cllr Goggin is a humanist means that all those who do not follow a faith can see themselves reflected in the most important civic office in the city. Humanists are very inclusive in our approach to life and we work with all those with religious and non-religious beliefs to improve life in our city.


“We celebrate having a publicly declared humanist Lord Mayor, and will do all we can to support Cllr Goggin in his year in office.”


Chief Executive of Humanists UK, Andrew Copson said:


“We congratulate Cllr Paul Goggin on becoming the Lord Mayor of Bristol. It is wonderful to see a humanist become a prominent and influential figure in public life. We wish him well throughout his tenure.”

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