The Lord Mayor’s Chapel in the heart of Bristol town centre has been re-opened to general visitors under the care of Bristol Cathedral. Services have been held there since the 16th century, and will now be managed by Cathedral staff and form part of the Cathedral clergy rota.
The Cathedral says it heralds a new and exciting chapter in the life of the historic chapel, often described as Bristol’s ‘hidden gem’. The Lord Mayor’s Chapel is the only remaining building of the Hospital of St Mark. In 1722 it became the official place of worship of the Lord Mayor of Bristol, and is owned by Bristol council. Built in the 13th century, it used to be connected to the Abbey of St Augustine, known today as Bristol Cathedral. It is one of the only two remaining Lord Mayor’s churches in the country, with the other one being St Lawrence Jewry in London.
For the first time since 1541—when the Hospital of St Mark was bought from Henry VIII by the Bristol Corporation—visitors will be able to experience The Lord Mayor’s Chapel and Bristol Cathedral together, as intended by the medieval monks.
Very Rev Dr Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol said: “We are delighted to be playing our part in preserving and sharing this beautiful chapel for the benefit of the whole city of Bristol. We look forward to welcoming visitors, pilgrims, tourists, and worshippers to enjoy this special place.”
Frances Rosewell, Visitor Experience Director at Bristol Cathedral says they have exciting plans for the venue and added: “I am pleased that we are able to once again welcome everyone to this incredible space and look forward to sharing stories from the Chapel’s rich history with visitors from all over the world.”
The Lord Mayor’s Chapel is Grade I listed and features some of the most stunning examples of medieval architecture in Bristol. The fan vaulted ceiling and the ornate Spanish tiled floor in the side chapel are illuminated by a big stained-glass window, which was salvaged from novelist William Beckford's notorious Fonthill Abbey.
The Lord Mayor’s Chapel is an active prayerful community that comes together to worship in the Chapel every Sunday. It will remain open to visitors, on certain days of the week. Tickets are valid for one calendar year. No charge is applied to people coming to pray.